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Alternative dispute resolution can help you with custody concerns

It is important for two parents who have children together to be able to work together toward a common goal. Even if that goal is simply exchanging the child from one home to the other without disputes, that's a place to start.

It's the reality that child custody arrangements aren't always going to be the way a parent wants. It's impossible for a child to be two places at once, so someone has to give up time for the other parent to get time with the child.

The problems begin when parents can't agree on when visitation time should be or if a custody plan needs to be changed. Fortunately, there are options for resolving conflicts. One of those options is called alternative dispute resolution.

With alternative dispute resolution, your two main options are mediation and arbitration. With a mediation session, for example, you'll speak with a third-party mediator about your situation. You and your ex-spouse will be there together and can work with the mediator to talk out your problems. With a third party present, it's often easier to avoid conflict, arguments and distractions.

Arbitration is the second option. With arbitration, a third party, often a judge or arbitrator, will rule on your case after you both state your sides of the story, present evidence and discuss what you want to see happen. This is sometimes binding, so it's a good idea to find out before agreeing to this service.

Arbitration and mediation can work for people who are caught up in a conflict. It's worth it to help protect your child and raise them in a civil situation.

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