Mediating a Relocation Dispute/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on October 29, 2017

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Not all disputes can be resolved by trying to find a middle ground. What can a mediator do when the custodial parent announced her/his intention to take the child to another state for economic, psychological. person reasons, etc?

This situation calls for the parent such a plan to show great sensitivity to the other parent. Some of the pot-sweeteners that may encourage a positive response include the following:

Communicate why the need exists and how such a move can contribute to a child’s well-being.

Since moves often make visitations less frequent (due to added distance, need for air travel, etc.) consider agreeing to making vacation visits and weekly/monthly longer.

If air travel is costly, consider making partial reimbursement for such trips or modifying child support downwards.

Show both empathy and appreciation for the fact that the other party is willing to work on making this new reality work for all concerned.

As an advertiser once said, the best surprise is no surprise. Conversations on relocation need to be honest, civil, and result-oriented. This is yet another example of how mediation trumps litigation options. Mediate don’t litigate.