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Family Mediation: Timing is Important

Delays impair mediation and resolution of custody, support or divorce issues.

In Family Court several days ago, a couple with a custody/parenting issue came before the Judge. A lawyer represented one of the parties. The young parents were there to settle a custody/parenting plan and support issues concerning their children. After 6-weeks of waiting for the court date, the parents indicated that they wanted to work with a mediator instead of going through a full contested hearing. However, the first day the court mediator was available was another 7-weeks down the road.  Court mediators have limited time availability and may not have sufficient time to meet with you long enough to resolve all of your concerns and needs.

Timing is important in many areas. Resolving the stress of two parents who disagree over parenting issues should not be delayed by close to three months. Establishing a working schedule as soon as possible reduces the parents stress and their children's stress. A 3-month delay is counter-productive.

Everyone who watched the 2015 Super Bowl knows that the Patriots victory was based upon Malcolm Butler's timing and intercepting a goal-line pass. He carefully timed his movement to intercept the pass. Had he been seconds later, the Patriots would have lost the XLIX Super Bowl.

The early start of mediation is important for divorce, custody or support issues. I schedule mediation sessions within 5 days of a first telephone call.

Long delays cause the parties to remain in a situation that at least one of them wants to change. The other party has the time during the waiting period to become stressed and angry. The parties have time to influence the children. The children perceive the parties' anger and concern about a new possible schedule. Delays do affect the parties' outlook and thus the conversation in mediation and the final results, usually because of the anger and frustration built up during the delay.

Mediation that begins when parties first recognize that they have parenting plan, support or divorce issues is far more productive and beneficial. An early start helps the parties focus on their issues instead of the built up emotions.

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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