When child custody becomes an issue between two parents, and the courts become involved, a report by a “mediator” is almost always a sure thing. These are mental health professionals trained to help the two parents come to an agreement, and if they don’t, then they make a recommendation to the court. Most people do not realize that the mediator’s report, if the parents don’t agree, carries a tremendous amount of weight with the family law judge and is usually adopted.
Unfortunately for us, the mediators, just like the judges and everyone else, are just people. That means that while often they do a surprisingly good job, there are a lot of them that end up making absolutely awful decisions that hurt kids. This is understandable if you realize that there are a select few parents out there who are extraordinarily gifted liars and know exactly how to manipulate even a trained mental health professional. From fabricating charges of domestic violence and sex abuse, to turning the children against the other parent, there are those who will literally stop at nothing to destroy the other parent.
The fact is that the vast majority of parents are not like this. Most of the time there are two people who are simply not compatible, and unfortunately the adversarial nature of the law simply ramps up the conflict. Courts, quite frankly, are not the best place for you to solve your problems. It is a last resort.
Here is a link from which you may find helpful when going into mediation:
And here is a list of community services here in Sonoma County.