What You Need to Know about Addressing Parenting Time Outside of Court

In Indiana, the traditional route for parenting time disputes is through the court system, which can be lengthy, costly, and emotionally exhausting. There are alternative ways to address parenting time matters outside of the courtroom in Indiana family law. Addressing parenting time outside of court is not for every family, especially if the parents cannot communicate effectively with each other. High-conflict matters may not be able to take advantage of addressing matters without going through the court process, but this is still an option to consider. This blog discusses ways to address parenting time outside of court proceedings. 

A commonly known alternative dispute resolution is mediation, which can help parents address parenting time matters. Mediation allows parents to work collaboratively with a neutral third party to reach a mutually agreeable parenting time arrangement. During mediation, the mediator facilitates open and constructive dialogue, helping the parents identify their priorities and find common ground. This can be a more amicable and cost-effective approach compared to litigation.

A collaborative law approach brings both parents and their respective attorneys together to negotiate a custody agreement without going to court. The focus is on finding a solution that serves the best interests of the child, rather than engaging in adversarial litigation. This process can foster better communication and cooperation between the parents, laying the groundwork for a more harmonious co-parenting relationship. Additionally, parenting coordination is another dispute resolution method that involves the appointment of a neutral third-party professional, known as a parenting coordinator, to assist parents in implementing and adhering to their parenting time and visitation orders. The parenting coordinator can help resolve conflicts that arise during the co-parenting process, reducing the need for repeated court appearances. Negotiation and settlement can help parents reach a parenting time agreement without the involvement of a third-party mediator or coordinator. This can be a viable option if the parents can communicate effectively and prioritize the well-being of their child. Once an agreement is reached, it can be formalized and filed with the court for approval.

There are clear benefits to addressing parenting time matters outside of court in Indiana. There can be a reduction of legal fees and court costs if you and the other parent can handle an out-of-court option. Further, there is a likelihood that you will come to a resolution faster than handling the matter through court proceedings. Addressing parenting time matters outside of court allows the parents to communicate and cooperate, which provides more autonomy for the parents. Ultimately, the parents can focus on preserving the parent-child relationship.

Importantly, the out-of-court options may be effective, but they may not be suitable for all situations, particularly those involving domestic violence, high-conflict dynamics, or significant power imbalances between parents. In such matters, the court system may still be the best avenue to ensure the protection and well-being of the child. The attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. have ample experience with handling parenting time matters outside of court throughout the state of Indiana. We are here to assist you in your parenting time matter. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C., and this blog is not intended as specific legal advice or solicitation of services as this is an advertisement.


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