Although heading to a custody mediation appointment may not be as stressful as a court battle, parents who are struggling over the disputes related to the end of a marriage may still anticipate significant difficulties. The point of mediation is to resolve conflict and avoid litigation, though, and there are ways that each parent can prepare for the meeting so that an agreement over the parenting plan is more likely.
The Huffington Post points out that being able to control emotions during the custody mediation session increases the chances of success. A parent who worries that bitterness, anger or sadness may prevent his or her ability to come to a rational agreement may want to seek the help of a professional counselor. Even if the fear is that the other parent will launch an attack or be unreasonable, a counselor may provide tactics for remaining calm, and organizing and presenting concerns and wishes courteously.
CustodyXChange.com suggests that it may be easier to keep emotions in check if the parents come to the appointment fully rested. Anticipating areas of conflict and preparing potential solutions ahead of time may also be helpful. Once there, parents should be open to changes to the plans they bring to the table. Work and school schedules will need to be compared, and it may be necessary to compromise in order to reach an agreement that allows both parents to maintain a healthy bond with the children. Since the meeting is about what is best for the children, other topics and issues should be avoided.