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Arbitration or Mediation
for Child Custody


Child custody disputes are often emotionally charged and stressful, and parents are typically unable to come to an agreement on their own. Rather than taking the matter to court, mediation and arbitration are two forms of third-party negotiation that parents can rely on to resolve their differences. Family law attorney Ryan Dougay has successfully guided parents through arbitration and mediation for child custody cases, providing sound guidance while advocating for their best interests. Contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Dougay​ in Austin, TX, office today to learn how we can help you achieve a favorable outcome. You may schedule your consultation by filling out our simple online form or by calling (512) 469-0811.

Woman holding pen and completing paperwork
Mediation and arbitration enable both parties to remain active participants in their child custody agreement, without the intervention of court.

Avoiding Litigation

Child custody conflicts often arise when the parents initially undergo divorce, or when a modification needs to be made to an existing court order. Unmarried parents may also find themselves in a child custody battle if their relationship ends and the child’s living situation and visitation schedule needs to be determined.

Mr. Dougay is well-versed in the nuances of these practices, and has the negotiation skills and diplomacy needed to guide you through your agreement. 

In many cases, parents who have separated cannot agree upon a child custody and visitation plan by themselves. Parents often assume their conflict will require a court appearance, which is typically undesirable for both parties. Litigation is notorious for being costly, time-consuming, and emotionally fraught. Fortunately, attorneys like Mr. Dougay can assist with alternatives, in the form of mediation and arbitration.

Mediation vs. Arbitration: What is the Difference?

Mediation and arbitration are similar processes whereby a neutral third party moderates negotiations between the conflicted parties. Mediation can be binding, although it is usually a non-binding process, whereas arbitration is almost always binding.

Mediation

Mediation is typically conducted with a single mediator, whose role is to facilitate discussion and guide the conversation towards a resolution. This process is more informal than arbitration, and more flexible. The dispute is resolved when all parties agree to the terms, and deliberations usually take a full day.

Arbitration

Arbitration, on the other hand, is a more structured scenario, involving a third-party who has the authority to make the final decisions regarding an agreement. Both parents submit evidence to support their claims, and the arbitrator can render a decision as to the resolution. Once the arbitrator comes to a conclusion, both parties are bound by the ruling.

Why You Need a Lawyer

As mediation is a relatively informal process, parents often try to handle the proceedings without legal representation. However, this can not only result in an unbalanced agreement, but require further negotiations in the future. As such, it is critical to select representation who will advocate for your best interests. Choosing the right counsel is just as important to the final outcome. Your attorney should be able to approach the situation with a strong, yet compassionate demeanor, especially when dealing with conflict resolution.

Attorney Ryan Dougay is well-versed in the nuances of these practices, and has the negotiation skills and diplomacy needed to guide you through your agreement. Although he can typically achieve a satisfactory outcome through mediation, Mr. Dougay is prepared to take your case to arbitration or trial when necessary. In these situations, he will work tirelessly to find a resolution that is in your and your child’s best interests.

Schedule Your Consultation

Mediation or arbitration are ideal routes for finding the best resolution to a child custody dispute. Mr. Dougay will take the time to listen to your goals before recommending the appropriate legal strategy. Contact our firm online or call (512) 469-0811 to schedule your appointment.

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"Ryan helped me through my divorce and complicated property division. He was great at explaining the process to me and explaining anything that I did not understand. He and his staff were always very helpful and understanding and I couldn’t have chosen a more qualified, competent lawyer to handle my case."

Amanda - Satisfied Client

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