The thought of not being able to spend a single day with one’s child could elicit a strong, defensive reaction from a parent. Nevertheless, that’s a reality divorcing parents may have to face. In fact, some parents might have to spend more than a week between visits with his or her children.

Because of the strong emotional ties parents have with their children, a child custody dispute can turn contentious in a heartbeat — and this is where mediation can help. Through the use of a skilled child custody mediator, parents have a better chance of resolving important issues quickly, peacefully and cost-effectively.

Here are some of the benefits of mediating your child custody dispute:

It’s a non-adversarial method to resolve problems: Court proceedings will resolve your problems but the process is adversarial. It pits both sides against one another as they try to advocate as strongly as possible to get what they want.

In contrast, mediation is less threatening and has the goal of reaching a peaceful agreement rather than deciding who wins and who loses. Also, since parents have the ability to back out of the mediation process at any time, this is another reason why it feels less threatening.

It will help your future co-parenting relationship: Since mediation is a more peaceful and diplomatic way to resolve your differences, it will help support better relations between you and your soon-to-be ex. This will benefit you tremendously as you continue to co-parent your children together.

It’s less expensive: Court proceedings related to a child custody dispute can drag on for a long time. Court costs, expert witness and attorneys’ fees can really add up. With mediation, parents can resolve their differences faster without incurring the same level of costs.

Is mediation right for your child custody dispute?

Child custody mediation could be an appropriate way to resolve your custody-related disagreements during your divorce, but it might not work for all parents. Make sure you learn more about what will be required and expected of you during mediation before you make the decision to engage in this potentially helpful and cost-saving process.