Even though you and your spouse have different ideas about how you want your co-parenting schedule to look after your Michigan divorce, you can probably agree that you both want what is best for your child. Many people use this as the basis to work things out with a mediator rather than allowing the judge to review each side and make an arbitrary decision. At The Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., we often provide mediation services for people who want to come to an agreement rather than engaging in a legal dispute.
The mediator does not make any decisions for you. As FindLaw explains, this person is a neutral third party who is present at your discussion with your spouse in a neutral setting. You and your spouse will each have an opportunity to explain your wishes without interruption or argument. The mediator may sum up the points where you already agree, identify which issues will need further discussion and facilitate the negotiation.
Even if you and your spouse come to an agreement and the mediator puts it in writing, this is not a binding legal document like the court order. So, for example, if you go home with a co-parenting schedule that includes splitting Christmas day in half, but your mother reminds you that the family is planning a special trip on that day, you can re-open the discussion with your spouse.
If you are able to cooperate on that change or others without a dispute, you may not need another mediation session, and you can present your revised plan to the judge when you go to the final court date. More information about co-parenting solutions is available on our webpage.