How to Delicately Argue Your Case in Custody Mediation

As you prepare for your child custody mediation, it’s important to think about the objective clearly. You want as much time with your children as possible, so plan to speak with the mediator about custody and nothing else. Other issues in your divorce will just get in the way, and that’s why you need to rehearse your custody mediation presentation beforehand.

Don’t stoop to negative comments that sound spiteful.

You want to prove that you are the better parent and therefore deserve more time with the children. Prove it by creating a presentation that highlights your positive traits and the other parent’s negative traits, but without overreacting. Don’t stoop to negative comments that sound spiteful. If you have something negative to point out, try starting off with a sentence such as this: “I would rather not say this, but our children are witness to …”

Prepare Short Rebuttals for Any Negative Commentary Made in Your Direction

As you prepare for this process, you should think about the negative issues the other parent may bring up. This is especially important if you are going through a contentious divorce. Pre-plan a short rebuttal that acknowledges these claims, but will give the mediator confidence in you and your veracity. If at any time during the mediation the conversation becomes too focused on your negative traits or your divorce, try to change the subject to:

  • What the children need;
  • Your positive parenting skills; and
  • The areas where the other parent is lacking parenting skills (but do so in a way that won’t humiliate the other parent).

The bottom line is that you need to stay positive at all costs. If you argue or allow the conversation to focus on something in your divorce other than custody, the mediator may look at you in the wrong light.