You and your spouse will need to work out custody and a parenting time schedule if you have children and are getting a divorce. You may need a temporary custody agreement if you expect your divorce to take some time or if you are separating without the intent to divorce. While you and your spouse are still married, however, you both share custody, and there is no need for a custody action unless your child’s safety is in question.

Courtroom divorces can take upwards of a year, during which time you and your spouse need to care for your child without a formal order. A judge can issue a temporary order for custody if you wish. Divorce mediation can take significantly less time than litigation.

You may not need a formal court order while you are in mediation, but you should discuss with your spouse how you will provide for the care and custody of your child while you work out the terms of your divorce. Divorce mediation is particularly well suited for couples wishing to stay in communication during the divorce for the benefit of their child.

Some people hastily file their divorce with the court thinking they can get temporary orders for support and custody. True, you can ask the judge to issue temporary orders for alimony, child support, and custody if you file your divorce with the court. These can provide short-term stability, but requesting temporary orders will cost money and take time, after which you may be less motivated to keep your divorce moving forward. When it comes to a temporary custody agreement, however, you may be doing more harm than good by taking the matter to court. Any courtroom motion is adversarial by nature. The custody of your child is very important, but this is usually a decision best made by the parents, not a judge. You and your spouse may still want to work out an informal temporary custody agreement between you two if you are mediating your divorce. Though the mediation process may be relatively quick, your child can benefit from a consistent environment and daily schedule at any point. This is especially true if you and your spouse are no longer living together. You and your spouse can decide how you will share custody while you mediate your divorce. Agreeing on simple things like when and where to pick your child up for the weekend can provide them with stability and help preserve your peace of mind.

Consider working with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you and your spouse want to divorce efficiently to save money and spend more quality time with your child. While you can get temporary orders while your divorce is pending in litigation, mediation removes the need for such formalities and extra costs. A skilled mediator will help you plan for an efficient and effective divorce. Mediation also helps you and your spouse communicate openly, making your jobs as co-parents easier both for the meantime and going forward.

Do you have questions about custody and parenting time? If so, Mediation Advantage Services can help. Law Office of Polly Tatum has the skills and experience needed to help you and your spouse with a custody agreement, preserving your and your children’s peace of mind. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 466-4734, fill out our online form, or email us at [email protected] today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.