S. M. Edwards & Associates, LLC

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(860) 388-7288

Child Custody

In a divorce mediation, child custody is by far the most important piece. Even though parents must deal with the emotions that are a natural part of divorce, child custody must be approached with level heads keeping the children's needs in clear focus. A mediator's job is to maintain civil, and focused discussions, helping to reduce conflict between parents as they work toward a child custody agreement and co-parenting plan.

Designing a realistic child focused
Co-Parenting plan can be difficult but is essential for both parents and their children. Getting divorced ends the marriage relationship between the couple, but should not mean the end of the parent-child relationship. In Child custody mediation, parents seek agreements that benefit the children as well as both parents.


Children do best when both parents, acting in their co-parenting roles, provide stability and have meaningful involvement in their lives. Both parents make equally valuable, and different, contributions to their children's development. Children need routine and structure in their lives, as well as unstructured time with each parent. Parents should also do what they can to maintain as many, positive, relationships and activities in their child's life as is possible.
Communication and cooperation between co parents is very important, as well as, maintaining consistent rules and values in both households. This helps to create a sense of security for children of any age. The best child custody agreement, is the one based on the best interest of your child.


Within your child custody agreement, Child Support will be determined as well as the concept of how each parent will hold custody of their children. Depending on the individual circumstances of each parent, the type of custody held by each parent will need to be determined, and agreed too.

The following is not a legal library but a brief description of the different types of custody.

Legal Custody - Refers to the decision making authority of the each parent.
Legal custody may be held Jointly or Solely.
Joint Custody - Both parents share the responsibility and authority to make decisions for the child.
Sole Custody - One parent has the responsibility and authority to make decisions for the child.
Physical Custody - Refers to the parent with the primary residence for the child, while the other parent has designated co-parenting rights and responsibilities.
Shared Custody - A type of physical custody were each parent has co-parenting and residential responsibility for the children. Approximately but not necessarily 50% of the time.
Split Custody - A type of physical custody where each parent is the primary residential parent for a different child. This is not the norm, but sometimes there are good reasons to split children up at certain developmental periods, or when one child is experiencing a difficult time with issues.


As co-parents, you are in the best position to determine what is best for the needs of your children on a day to day basis. If it is left to a judge to make these decisions for you, usually at least one parent is left with an unwanted outcome. Child Custody Mediation keeps the decisions that affect your children in your hands, and a Mediator will help you stay focused on the those important issues that will promote a healthy transition for you and your children.


Through mediation, negotiating your Child Custody agreement and Co-Parenting agreement can be far less contentious.


Contact S. M. Edwards & Associates LLC, to find out how mediation can save you time and money.​​


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