When parents get divorced in North Carolina the one thing they may continue to share is a mutual concern for the well-being and safety of their children. People who prioritize the needs of their children and address the challenges of divorce head-on may minimize the impact that their changing relationship has on the future of their children.

Mediation is one method for helping parents determine a functional custody arrangement. People who understand the role of mediation may feel more prepared to enter negotiations with a clear idea of how to communicate their concerns and desires for their children.

Characteristics of mediation

Mediation provides both parties the opportunity to discuss and determine a mutually beneficial outcome in a controlled environment. According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, facilitators of mediation remain neutral and help to provide clarification and context for each party’s concerns and desires.

During mediation, parents discuss topics including where their children will live and how visitation will work. They may also collaborate in making important decisions about a child’s health, medical needs and education. While a final decision is not required during mediation, failure to reach a compromise within the designated period will result in the case moving to court.

Identifying best interests

One of the best ways for parents to make efficient and meaningful decisions about the well-being of their children is to identify their best interests. Parents who agree upon the success of their children may find child custody deliberations to be more meaningful and rewarding.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, officials will assess several factors when determining a child’s best interests. These may include both parents’ ability to provide a stable home, the emotional well-being of the child and the condition of specific parent-child relationships.