In an effort to avoid court trial or to undergo a lengthy legal process and to settle a custody issue in an amicable way, a court may recommend that litigants undergo some form of mediation. Custody mediation is a considered a form of alternative dispute resolution or appropriate dispute resolution. This kind of resolution is achieved through a third party who has no involvement with any of the litigants or relevant parties.
Custody mediation is often sought voluntarily and helps in furthering negotiations between the parents. Both parents involved in the conflict are willing participants in custody mediation. Because parties involved in custody mediation are willing participants, they have the choice to end the session at any time. There are many reasons as to why a party may choose to end sessions, mostly because negotiations are not benefitting the party.
A mediator, the third party, guides the process of resolution but cannot impose any kind of solution. The role of the mediator is to facilitate a resolution that is amenable to both parties. Not just any individual qualifies as a mediator. There are certain skills and techniques that mediators possess, which they acquire from training and seminars. Thus, mediators are usually accredited individuals who can be recommended by the court.
Once custody mediation has resulted into an agreement or exchange of promises, this agreement is formalized through a written contract signed by both parties. The resolution or contract is then binding upon all involved parties, meaning both parents and other relevant entities.