Custody as a whole will rarely be the subject of mediation since, even after separation and divorce, it usually remains with the joint custody and rarely couples in mediation, this fundamental decision of the legislature on parental care in question. This can at best become a topic if a parent is prevented from exercising parental care due to special circumstances, e.g. because he wants to take up residence at a great distance in the future.
Individual aspects of child custody are often the topic or field of conflict between separating couples.
In the first place, it is sometimes a question of where the child or children should have their normal stay. Here there are different views, whether it is that every parent wants to have children with them normally or that one parent strives for a uniform change of regime. Here, depending on the age of the children, it makes sense to include the children’s ideas in the mediation. This can be done by having children participate in individual mediation sessions. Here, the mediator should take care that the children do not get under any decision pressure. As a rule, children are interested in having good relationships with both parents. If you now transfer the decision, where the children want to have their center of life, to the children, they get into a loyalty conflict. That should be avoided in any case.
- Conflicting can also be the question of the education of children. While the question of elementary school is usually unproblematic, there are rather different ideas as to which secondary school the child should go to, whether it should teach or whether it should study. These questions can then be clarified in the child custody mediation again, if necessary, with the children.
- The religious education of the child also provides a source of much ground, especially if the worldviews of the parents differ widely here: should the child be baptized, receive first communion, be confirmed, should it be educated religiously? All points that can be arguably disputed.
Welfare can (especially if the child has assets) be reason for child custody mediation. This is especially the case when one parent is concerned that the other parent may misuse the child’s assets.
Last but not least, in separation and divorce mediations, which affect children, there are also health care issues on the list of topics to be dealt with. This can be based on religious ideas, but also on different ideas of medical needs. This can extend to the question of what constitutes a healthy diet and whether one can accept fast food for the child. Even convinced vegetarians often want to pass their conviction on to the children and consider it an affront if the other parent does not stick to it.