What Not to Say in Child Custody Mediation: 10 Risky Things

Going through a child custody mediation? You must need to know the details on what not to say in child custody mediation. Going through a child custody mediation can be challenging enough without saying the wrong thing. Unfortunately, many people end up making this mistake.

This blog post will discuss 10 things you should never say in child custody mediation. If you’re going through a child custody mediation, make sure you avoid saying the following things! Keep these tips in mind, and you can have a successful mediation!

What Not to Say in Child Custody Mediation: 10 Things

Nicolas, one of my close friends, is an excellent example of what not to do in mediation. Nicolas and his ex-wife were going through a heated custody battle. They had already been to court several times, and the judge had ordered them to attend mediation.

Nicolas walked into the room on the first day of mediation and started yelling at his ex-wife. He called her names, accused her of being a terrible mother, and said he never wanted to see her again. The mediation did not go well.

You shouldn’t make the same mistake as Nicolas! Here are ten things you should never say in child custody mediation:

#1. You’re a terrible parent!:

Accusing your ex-partner of being a bad parent is one of the worst things you can do in mediation. Not only is it hurtful, but it will also make it harder to agree. If you want to have a successful mediation, you must be respectful of your ex-partner and their parenting skills.

Marking other parents as “bad” is one of the most common mistakes in mediation. If you’re tempted to say this, take a step back and remember that it’s not helpful or productive.

#2. Don’t threaten legal action:

Threatening to take legal action during mediation will only make the process more tense and strenuous. It can also be seen as an attempt to manipulate the other party into agreeing with your demands.

Instead, focus on finding a mutually beneficial solution through communication and negotiation. Remember that the goal of mediation is to come to a resolution without going to court.

Remember that any threat of legal action will also not be taken seriously by the mediator or the other party, as threats are not allowed in mediation.

#3. You’re never going to see the kids again:

This is another huge mistake. Just like with number two, it’s important to remember that you still have to co-parent your children after divorce. If you say this in mediation, it will be harder to agree on custody and visitation.

This is just like a threat of parental alienation. It’s an empty threat that will make the mediation process more difficult.

#4. Don’t withhold information from the mediator:

Be open and honest with the mediator about any information that may affect your case. This includes any past incidents or behaviour and changes in circumstances (such as a new job or relocation).

Withholding information can harm your credibility and may result in a decision that is outside your best interests.

#5. Don’t badmouth the other parent:

During mediation, focus on what is best for the child and not what is best for you personally. Badmouthing the other parent, whether it be about their parenting abilities or personality traits, will not help your case and may even harm it.

Instead, focus on finding a solution that puts the child’s needs and well-being first. You should speak well of the other parent in front of the mediator, as this shows that you can put your differences aside for the sake of your child.

#6. Don’t make accusations:

Making false or exaggerated accusations against the other parent will not help your case and may even harm it. Not only that, but it can also make the mediation process more difficult and tense.

If you have concerns or issues with the other parent’s behaviour, address them calmly and respectfully. Focus on finding a solution rather than blaming the other parent. lying in child custody, mediation is also not recommended in any situation.

#7. Don’t make unrealistic demands during the mediation”:

Having a clear idea of what you want regarding custody and parenting arrangements but making unrealistic demands will only make the mediation process more difficult.

Instead, focus on finding a fair and mutually beneficial solution for both parties. Remember that the goal is to come to a resolution, not to win or get everything you want.

#8. Don’t try to bribe your child into choosing you over the other parent:

Bribing your child with gifts or promises into choosing you over the other parent is unethical and will ultimately harm your case.

Remember that the decision should be based on what is best for the child, not what benefits you personally. Respect and support your child’s relationship with the other parent rather than trying to manipulate them into choosing you.

#9. Don’t refuse to compromise:

Coming to a resolution often requires compromise from both parties. Refusing to compromise or being inflexible in your demands will make it difficult for the mediator to find a mutually beneficial solution.

Although it may not be what you initially wanted, reach a resolution that meets your needs while also putting the child’s wellbeing first. Furthermore, by compromising, you’re illustrating to the mediator that you are willing to negotiate and work towards common ground.

#10. Don’t say “Yes” to everything:

It may be tempting to agree to everything the other parent suggests to make them happy and get what they want. However, this can backfire if the suggestion is outside your or your child’s best interests.

Rather than saying “yes” to everything, consider what is truly best for all parties involved and negotiate a resolution that meets those needs. It’s okay to push back on specific suggestions and negotiate for what you want as long as it is done respectfully.

For example, if the other parent suggests a custody schedule that doesn’t work for your job or personal commitments, discuss and negotiate a schedule that works for both parties.

You should watch this video to learn more about successful child custody mediation tips.

FAQs on What Not to Say in Child Custody Mediation

How do I start a mediation?

The first step in starting a mediation is to find a mediator. A mediator is a person who is trained to help people communicate with each other.

Once you have found a mediator, you will need to schedule a time for the mediation. The mediator will meet with both parties at the same time and place.

During the mediation, the mediator will help both parties to communicate with each other. The goal of mediation is to help both parties to come to an agreement.

Mediation is confidential, meaning anything said during the mediation cannot be used in court. Mediation is voluntary, meaning both parties can stop the mediation at any time.

Mediators typically follow four steps in a successful mediation:

  • Opening the session:

The mediator will open the session by explaining the process and ground rules. This is an important step, as it sets the tone for the rest of the mediation.

  • Informal discussion:

This is where both sides will have a chance to air their grievances. The mediator will facilitate this discussion, but it’s important to remember that this is not a formal debate. Both sides should be respectful of each other and open to compromise.

  • Brainstorming solutions:

Once both sides can voice their concerns, the mediator will help brainstorm solutions. This is where creative thinking and compromise are key. The goal is to find a solution that both sides can agree on.

  • Reaching an agreement:

If both sides can reach an agreement, the mediator will help draft a formal document outlining the terms of the agreement. This document is then signed by both parties and becomes legally binding.

How to win child custody mediation?

Child custody mediation can be a complex and emotional process. However, there are some things that you can do to increase your chances of success.

First, be prepared. Ensure you have all relevant documents and information organised and ready to present to the mediator.

Second, be honest. The mediator will be looking for any hidden agendas or ulterior motives, so it is essential to be upfront about your interests and intentions. Finally, be reasonable. Mediators are more likely to rule in favour of the parent who can put the child’s needs first.

If you can demonstrate that you are willing to work together for the sake of your child, you will increase your chances of winning child custody mediation.

What to ask for in child custody mediation?

When entering into child custody mediation, it’s essential to come prepared. You’ll need to know what you want and what your priorities are. To help you get started, here are some of the critical things you should ask for

  • Equal parenting time: You’ll want to aim for equal parenting time. This way, both parents can remain actively involved in their child’s life. If equal parenting time isn’t possible, you’ll need to negotiate for the next best option.
  • A flexible schedule: With two parents sharing custody, have a flexible schedule to accommodate both households. You’ll need to be able to work together to make sure that drop-offs, pick-ups, and other logistics are handled smoothly.
  • Shared decision-making: Regarding decisions about your child’s health, education, and well-being, both parents must have a say. You should aim for a 50/50 split on significant decisions, with each parent having veto power in case of disagreement.
  • A healthy relationship with the other parent: Your child needs to have a positive relationship with both parents. This means that you’ll need to be able to communicate and cooperate with the other parent, even if you don’t always see eye-to-eye.

By asking for these things in mediation, you can help ensure that your child custody arrangement is fair and beneficial for everyone involved.

How long does mediation last?

The length of time that mediation will last depends on the specific situation. In some cases, mediation may only last for a few hours, while in others, it may span several days or even weeks.

The important thing is that both parties are committed to working through the process and feel comfortable communicating with each other.

If mediation is successful, it can result in a lasting agreement that both parties are happy with. However, if mediation fails to resolve the issue, the parties may need to consider other options, such as arbitration or litigation.

What are good mediation questions?

Mediation questions help parties in conflict identify and explore the issues at hand. They should be open-ended and neutral, without leading the parties in any particular direction. Some examples of good mediation questions include:

-What are the main areas of disagreement?

-What are your goals for this mediation?

-What do you think is driving the other party’s position?

-What is the impact of this conflict on you and your family?

-How do you see this mediation resolving?

These are just a few examples of good mediation questions. By asking these and other questions, mediators can create an open and productive dialogue that can lead to an acceptable resolution for both parties.


Child custody mediation can be a complex and emotional process. Focus on what is best for the child and avoid making statements or taking actions that may harm your case. 

Remember to speak respectfully, compromise when necessary, and focus on finding a resolution rather than winning or getting what you want personally. This will make the mediation process smoother and ultimately benefit both parties and the child.

Leave a Comment