Having a Child-Centered Agreement with the Help of a Family Mediator in Chicago

In a typical mediation session, the parties are often told to focus on their interests in order to work out a solution.  They may exchange a provision that they do not care about as leverage for a provision that they do care about.  A family mediator in Chicago can explain that parents have a more objective perspective: how to create an agreement that focuses on the best interests of the child or children.  There are several ways that this objective can be accomplished with the help of a family mediator in Chicago.

Incorporate the Child’s Developmental Needs into the Agreement

Parents do not have to create agreements that provide for the same visitation schedule throughout the rest of the child’s minority.  Instead, the parents can focus on an agreement that changes over time, adjusting to the child’s age and psychological and developmental needs.  Furthermore, the agreement can also take into considerations the child’s school schedule, extracurricular activities and holiday routines.  Considering such information and anticipating the future can help establish a clear parenting plan.  This type of detail often helps provide a greater balance between the parents.  For example, the parent who does not primarily live with the child may be able to take on a more active role with the child by participating in or transporting the child to extracurricular activities.

Provide a Right of First Refusal

Another helpful provision to include in a child-centered agreement is to provide a right of first refusal regarding childcare arrangements.  If either parent is required to work or wants to go out during his or her parenting time, this provision allows the other parent to care for the child.  The parties agree on a number of hours at which they are required to tell the other party they are not available to watch the children. If the other parent is not available, the mediation agreement may even allow for the parents to agree on a third party caregiver.

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