Monday, January 5, 2015

How to be Successful in CCRC

If the parents cannot agree on a custody plan among themselves, they must attend Child Custody Recommending Counseling (also called CCRC) before the court will make orders. Your attorney should prepare you for CCRC, but here are some general guidelines:

·         Make a Good Appearance: Dress business causal. Think of this as a job interview for your children. Do not bring any documents or pictures with you into the room.

·         Have a Plan: Go into CCRC with a specific plan. Be able to state what days and times you will have the children. Be able to tell the mediator who will do the driving and how the exchanges will occur. Be prepared to describe what you will do if the children are sick or you have an emergency when the children are in your care.

·         Focus on the Children: Only discuss those issues related to your children. This is not a time to rehash the relationship. CCRC is about how you will share your children moving forward. All your comments should be made as though you are looking through the eyes of your children. How do they feel? If the other side gets off topic, do not respond. Allow the mediator to redirect him or her.

·         Remember who you are talking to: Speak directly to the mediator and maintain good eye contact. Do not look at or speak directly to the other party during the session.

·         Stay Calm: The mediator will assess your body language. Avoid hand gestures. Watch your facial expressions. When someone else is talking, remain still and pretend you are a statue.

·         Watch your Wording: Always refer to the children as “ours” not “mine.” When you discuss the children, begin with the phrase, “It is in our children’s best interest to…”

·         Mind Your Manners: Allow the other party and the mediator to finish speaking before you respond. Avoid the temptation to argue with or insult the other party. Watch your tone of voice when speaking.

·         Stick to the facts: If you have concerns, be specific and factual, not insulting. Start by saying, “I am concerned because…” and then offer a “for instance.”  Describe a specific event that illustrates your point.