Child Custody Settlement or Dispute? Benefits of Collaborating with the Ex

family law attorneyPredictably, child custody issues are some of the most challenging discussions that divorcing parents have to engage in. In many cases, growing resentment and a desire to “win over” the kids in the ensuing fallout can cause people to become combative. Litigation is often on the table, which often takes serious financial and mental toll on all involved parties.

Child custody disputes are common in CA, and we help clients navigate these types of issues on a daily basis. It’s easy to see why anyone would go up to “bat” for their kids, but one important piece of advice we always mention is that the benefits of cooperation and collaboration are worth considering.

Divorcing parents can opt to duke it out in traditional divorce proceedings. Alternatively, they can come to an agreement via an informal settlement or even a formal mediation process. Today, we’re talking about why you should consider extending an olive branch to the ex, provided the circumstances allow for this. 

Before we dive in, remember that the information in this post is general in nature. For specific legal advice, you should consult with a qualified legal professional. Reach out to our office directly to learn more, our attorneys are more than happy to answer any questions you might have!.

What Makes Child Custody Settlements a Good Idea?

In our experience, many consider a settlement to be a form of “losing,” and doubly so when this involves one’s children. This is pretty far from the truth however, and the benefits that settlements provide lay a foundation that helps everyone, not just the “winner.”

Here are the main benefits of option for a child custody settlement, either formal or informal:

  • You have much more control over the outcome, where you and the ex can establish a starting place and go from there. In contract, formal court proceedings have all decisions relegated to the judges, leaving you with little/no say and recourse.
  • Your proceedings don’t become part of the public record, unlike traditional child custody disputes. This helps preserve your privacy and is another way in which settlements offer additional control to all parties involved.
  • Settlement foster collaboration and a healthy working relationship between all parties, letting you all adjust to the changes on a good note. This type of supportive environment is critical for childrens’ happiness and development.
  • Skipping traditional proceedings means saved time and money. Formal mediation involves only a fraction of the cost compared to traditional proceedings, and informal settlements can be even cheaper. 

What Can I do if My Ex is Uncooperative?

All of these benefits sound great – but settlements only work if the other party is willing to work with you. If things are too hostile, formal mediation is worth considering. There are ways for you to communicate via a neutral mediator who goes back and forth between both parties, as well as other options to help minimize the potential for conflict.

However, if your ex isn’t willing to go for that, or if the safety of your children are threatened under his/her custody, settlement might not be on the table. In these and other situations, the courtroom might be the most appropriate venue for a resolution. 

Talk to a Skilled Family Law Attorney

If you want to learn more about custody settlement, or to consult with an attorney and assess what best works for you and your family, don’t delay in contacting one of our experienced California divorce attorneys. 

Let us at R & S Law Group provide you with the legal expertise that your family law case demands. Call us at (949) 825-5245 today to learn more about how we can help.