Generally, the court wants children to have shared parenting time, as this has been established as being the healthiest situation for children. The issues that must be resolved in the mediation process include where the children will live during what period of time. Some families are best served by one parent having the children during the week, and the other on weekends and certain holidays, while other parents choose to split the time, with the children living a period of the week in each home. A discussion with the parents about what will have the least negative impact on the children is part of the mediation process. There are school and work schedules that must be discussed, and every family has it unique differences. The benefit of mediation, when the process is correctly done, is that the parents can work out a reasonable agreement that actually suits their situation.
Reaching a reasonable and workable agreement with help from a neutral mediator often leads to a very workable arrangement that when implemented and finally familiar, is healthy for all involved and causes the least amount of emotional damage to the children, which is of utmost concern to most parents. You can read more about child custody arrangements in this chapter of the e-book issues by our firm, Mediation Advantage Services.