Think twice about Court involved strategies to resolve child custody/access disputes.
Typically more than 95% of contested child custody/access disputes settle prior to a Judge making a final order.
If however an assessment is entered into at court, the Judge will make an order consistent with the assessor’s recommendations some 80% of the time.
Outcomes that are imposed by the Judge are less likely to be followed than those outcomes that are reached by mutual agreement, even if both parties aren’t satisfied with the mutual agreement. Here’s why:
Please work hard to resolve things between yourselves. If you have had an assessment, know that it is likely to be very influential even if you think you know more than the assessor or if you think you have a hardball litigator. Giving the assessor a rough ride on the witness stand still won’t mean from a statistical perspective that the Judge will make an Order very different from what has been recommended. Further, even if the Judge does make an Order in favor of your position, don’t think that will be the end of your conflict. In many cases it is only the propellant to fuel more conflict.
If you want an agreement more likely to last and where you have some say or control in terms of the outcome, find a way to settle outside of Court. through Mediation; or Collaborative Law.
There may be no such thing as a good settlement. However if you reach an agreement that brings some semblance of peace that you both can live with, then your children are better off and you all can get on with life. Indeed, that just may be what a good settlement is all about.