FAQ’s

How do I prepare for custody modification mediation?
Here are some forms to print out to help you with the process:
Parenting Plan Checklist
Parenting Plan Holiday Schedule
Parenting Plan Daily Calendar
Child Information Worksheet
Sample Parenting Plan Schedules
Reasons to Mediate Parenting Plans
When Your Children are With the Other Parent

How is child support set in a modification?
California has a law which sets the child support amount based on your and your spouse’s (or other parent’s income, if you’re not married) incomes after federal taxes, state taxes, social security, and other mandatory deductions along with the amount of time you each spend with your children.

Peace Talks uses a court-approved computer program to calculate the guideline child support, and we can run these calculations for you in your mediation session if you wish.

We’ll also discuss each parent’s needs along with the children’s needs so that your agreement is tailored to your family.

Income includes overtime, bonuses, and commissions, unemployment compensation and worker’s compensation benefits.

How does child support modification mediation work?
Child support is modifiable in the event that circumstances change. The change may be to your income,the other parent’s income, your child’s needs, or a combination of all three. Mediation can help you communicate about co-parenting issues and child support. Mediation can help you find a solution that takes all of your needs, and your child’s needs,into account.

These days, child support rarely stops with just a monthly amount. From daycare to medical insurance and from summer camp to college expenses, mediation can be a great way to help parents balance the needs of their children with financial security and fairness and to find a solution that works for everyone. The mediators at Peace Talks Mediation Services can help you mediate and resolve your child support modification in a sane, sensible way and at a reasonable cost.

How is child support set in a divorce or family law case?
California has a law which sets the child support amount based on your and your spouse’s (or other parent’s income, if you’re not married) incomes after federal taxes, state taxes, social security, and other mandatory deductions. California Family Code Section 4055 Child support is based on a combination of your and the other parent’s incomes and the amount of time you each spend with the children. If your child has special circumstances, like a health or education problem, that can be taken into account, too.

Peace Talks Mediation Services uses a court-approved computer program to calculate the Guideline child support, and we can run these calculations for you in your mediation session if you wish. And, while the Child Support Guidelines are what the court would use, in mediation you’re free to discuss child support based on your situation and your child’s needs, not just a computer program.

And, although you’re already divorced, the mediation process is the same. The mediators at Peace Talks Mediation Services see the same high rate of success in post-divorce mediation that we see in pre-divorce mediation.

Preparing for child support modification mediation
If you want to mediate your child support modification, you can save some time and money by using these worksheets: Child Support Checklist Budget and Income Information (for child support issues)

Visit our Resource Center for more information about child support and creative ways to support your children without breaking the bank.

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How is custody decided?
Custody is decided based on the best interests of your children. We think that parents make the best decisions about their own children, rather than Judges and Evaluators who don’t even know your family. 

In mediation, you make the schedules and parenting decisions.  Our mediators provide information, the latest child development research, suggestions and tips but you make the final decisions. Click here for helpful checklists and sample parenting schedules if you’d like to get started on your own.

In court, each case is decided on a case-by-case basis. The judge considers things like the relationship you each have with the children, which parent will encourage more education, visitation with the other parent and his or her family, and which parent has a more stable home life to offer a child.

Because the standard “best interests” is so flexible, it’s hard to know what a judge would do in the event of a trial. The other problem is that a judge will only have a few hours worth of testimony and a report prepared by the family conciliation office to use to make the decision about where your children will live and how often they will see you. That’s not much information. There’s no way the judge will know for sure if what is ordered is really in your children’s best interests. Only you and your children’s other parent know that.

How does spousal support modification mediation work?
Because most divorces that include spousal support usually keep the amount modifiable, if circumstances change you may need help to reach a new spousal support order or spousal support agreement after your divorce is finished. A change in your or your former spouse’s income, health or ability to work can mean that it’s time to update your spousal support orders. The mediators at Peace Talks Mediation Services can help you reach a new agreement that is fair and that takes everyone’s needs into account.

And, although you’re already divorced, the mediation process is the same.The mediators at Peace Talks Mediation Services see the same high rate of success in post-divorce mediation that we see in pre-divorce mediation.

Preparing for spousal support modification mediation
Preparing for spousal support modification mediation: If you want to mediate your spousal support modification, you can save some time and money by using these worksheets:
Budget and Income Information
Spousal Support Issues
Spousal Support Law
Spousal Support Buy Out Issues
Spousal Support Checklist

Visit our Resource Center for more information about spousal support and spousal support issues.

How does post-divorce or post-judgment property settlement mediation Work?
Although property settlements are final as part of your final divorce paperwork, sometimes issues come up. Perhaps you still jointly own a home and it’s time to sell, but you cannot agree on a purchase price with your former spouse. Maybe your Judgment wasn’t as clear as you’d hoped on your property rights. The mediators at Peace Talks Mediation Services can help you mediate and resolve your post-divorce issues in a sane, sensible way and at a reasonable cost.

And, although you’re already divorced, the mediation process is the same. The mediators at Peace Talks Mediation Services see the same high rate of success in post-divorce mediation that we see in pre-divorce mediation. In addition to making a list of all of the issues that have come up, please bring a copy of your Judgment or other court paperwork with you to the mediation session. You may also want to look at some of our suggestions for preparing for post-divorce property issues in mediation:
Dealing with Conflict
End of File Checklist
Visit our Resource Center for more information about divorce, separation, and property settlements.

Getting married or re-married? You may want to consider a premarital agreement.

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