How Does Family Mediation in Fort Smith AR Help in Visitation Cases?

Many cases flood the family court system, so a judge may not be able to give as much time to an individual case to make decisions that would be truly best for the family and the child by extension. Family mediation in Fort Smith Arkansas with Joseph Self allows the parents to come together in a mutually respectful manner to help make plans pertaining to visitation with the child. Family mediation in Fort Smith Arkansas can help avoid contentious and stressful family law litigation that can only further sever rather than unite a family.

Specific Visitation

Most courts have a standard visitation schedule. However, this is simply a blanket form that states how parenting time will be divided absent a different agreement between the parties. Going through the mediation process can help a family set up a visitation schedule that works best for them and minimizes drama within the family due to time conflicts. The schedule may reflect the parent’s work time, allowing for longer periods of time on days when parents are not working. It can also take extracurricular activities into consideration, as well as existing schedules related to other children in blended homes.


Mediation can help the parents make changes to the schedule when there is a significant change, such as an illness, move or change in work schedule. Going through this process via litigation can again be a contentious matter. Establishing a way to address the potential for these issues can help the parties have a plan in place if the need to change the agreement arises.

Other Issues

A mediation agreement can include information that may not be included in a typical visitation schedule. It may include information about appropriate forms of contact between the parents, religious information, educational plans and special holiday customs. This strategy can help establish clear expectations and help avoid confusion. Courts do not have the same flexibility to impose the same arrangements parties can agree to, but can adopt the agreement as part of its order if necessary.