Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C.

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Disputes that are ripe for mediation

With last week’s post, we highlighted some of the benefits of mediation compared to traditional litigation. Because a number of child custody and parenting time disputes center around issues that family court judges may not be willing to deal with, mediation is a way to get some threshold issues resolved before they fester over time and become emotional roadblocks.

With that said, this post will focus on issues that are commonly ripe for mediation. 

Disputes over discipline– Some parents are adamant about corporal punishment while others believe in “sparing the rod.”  Yes, the abuse of a child (physical or mental) is against the law, but parents are given wide latitude as to how how they discipline their children. As such, a dispute over how to handle sanctioned discipline could be mediated.

Differences over entertainment – Some parents believe that children should have only a limited amount of “screen time” each day. Others believe that having mobile devices and televisions on is fine, as long as they are not watching violent or sexually explicit programs. Obviously these divergent opinions can lead to disputes. However, a family court judge may not want to wade into this territory. So mediating this dispute may be your best option.

Disputes over significant others – When parents break up and go their separate ways, it is common for them to engage in new romantic relationships. However, ex-spouses or boyfriends and girlfriends do not like seeing another person around their children. Suffice it to say, potential step-parents are not popular. As such, disputes can arise over whether a new girlfriend or boyfriend should be around the kids can be mediated. 

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