Despite the best of intentions, there are some ex-spouses that cannot get along with each other. If the parents can learn to set aside their differences for the sake of making the divorce transition as smooth as possible on the children, then it will benefit everyone involved. Sometimes, a family court will order a mediator to try to help the parents agree on visitation guidelines. For children, parent visitation time can keep a bond strong even though they no longer live with the non-custodial parent and the court considers that fact a priority.
Visitation guidelines can either be set up by the family court or set up by the parents. The visitation guidelines regarding parent visitation is then approved through the court. Mediators try to help the families with any conflict resolution that may surround a parent visitation schedule. If a couple refuses to cooperate with each other, they may be ordered to attend family counseling for the sake of the children. Legally, the family court does have a right to refer a family to a mediator and a family counseling service. If a parent does not follow the order, they are in contempt of court and can be prosecuted.
The Family Law Act actually made it possible for mediators and counselors to help set visitation guidelines. Services are sometimes offered at no cost, unless a parent wishes to bring in an outside mediator that does not work for the family court. As the parent visitation scheduling court case is handled, the mediator has the job of working with both the courts and family at the same time. Legally, any communication that a family has with a mediator is not confidential. Conversations that a mediator and parents have about parent visitation times or visitation guidelines will be reported to the family court. These conversations can be submitted as evidence in he case. While a family counselor is bound legally not to repeat conversations, a mediator is not.
There is only one exception to that rule. If a spouse is discussing a monetary divorce settlement with a mediator instead of parent visitation rights and schedules, then the mediator cannot discuss what was said in the meeting. However, there may be times when mediators are allowed to disclose small amounts of information if it affects visitation guidelines.
If the couple engaged in a parent visitation battle, allows a mediator to help them come to a resolution, they may be saving themselves a lot of trouble in the long run. A mediator may be able to help the parents reach an agreement that will benefit their child and themselves. An expensive custody battle does not benefit the parents or the child.