Guided Problem-Solving

Pasadena Child Custody Mediator

Make the Best Decisions for You & Your Children

Parents are encouraged to reach an agreement between them concerning the custody arrangements of their children. If they are unable to do so, a custody order may be made by the court, but this is not ideal for anyone. In 90% of cases in the United States where parents have decided not to parent together, they are able to agree on a parenting plan and timeshare agreement without forcing things into litigation that can devastate the relationships of parents, children, and extended family members.

In California, these issues are referred to as child custody and visitation. Pasadena Mediator Mark B. Baer prefers not to use such terms because they are considered fighting terms. The high potentiality that a custody battle can have long-lasting negative impact on children has made most states institute as many safeguards against that circumstances as possible. Mediation is often the first legal safeguard, and it can be the last needed if it is handled correctly.


Call (888) 844-9530 to talk to our family law mediator in Pasadena today.


Primary Custody vs. Shared Custody

All child custody decisions are to be based on the best interests of the children, no matter the details of the case. Sole custody arrangements may consist of exclusive custody, meaning both legal and physical custody for one parent. Sole physical custody determines the child resides with and is supervised by one parent. Sole legal custody gives one parent the right to make decisions about the child's health, education, and welfare.

Joint custody arrangements can consist of pure joint custody, in which both parents care for and make decisions about the child; joint legal custody, where both parents have the right and responsibility to make decisions about the child's welfare; and joint physical custody, where the child lives with both parents at various times in a worked-out plan.

Generally speaking, shared parenting of some sort is in the children’s best interest. According to Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D., there is no evidence that parental conflict is any different in primary custody situations versus shared custody situations. In other words, do not avoid shared custody arrangements because of parental conflict, especially since the research shows that children are more satisfied and excel in shared custody situations.

Shared parenting is not necessarily equal parenting, though. Shared parenting is anything from 33% to 49% timeshare. Equal parenting is 50%. There is little doubt that children are more satisfied and excel when they are loved and cared for by both parents in a shared parenting arrangement. This should be the focus of mediation sessions with Mark B. Baer.

The Damage of Custody Battles

The fact that so many parents seem incapable of considering the welfare of their children, especially during and after the dissolution of their romantic relationship with their co-parent, is an ongoing theme throughout Mr. Baer’s writings. He consistently hears parents and their advocates argue that ‘the rights of the state are subordinate to the rights of fit parents.’ The key terms and phrases involving such ‘parental rights’ are as follows: ‘fit parents,’ ‘fitness,’ ‘unsuitable persons to be entrusted with their care, control, and education, or when some exceptional circumstances appear which render such custody inimical to the best interests of the child,’ and ‘parent properly nurtures, maintains, and cares for the child.’ Clearly, people have very different definitions for such terms and phrases, so this is an extremely subjective standard.

It is worth noting that the American Bar Association has long been aware of the connection between custody battles and an increase in domestic violence. In fact, as many as 50 percent of disputes relating to child custody involve domestic violence. This is often due to the fact that divorcing parents become frustrated and prone to violence after a prolonged period of confusing custody expectations. Mr. Baer has said time and time again in his writings, the outcomes are determined by the way the "game" is designed.

The American legal system unintentionally aggravates conflict in divorce situations, even though models that are designed to reduce conflict – such as mediation and other collaborative approaches – are available as alternatives. Parents need to understand that what they do, say, and how they act toward the other parent has long-term consequences. The things people do with or without the assistance of their legal representatives have consequences that will last for generations to come. It is important to find ways to make divorce into a less destructive process than it is today.

How You Handle Divorce Makes All the Difference

While there may be disagreement regarding whether or not divorce in and of itself is damaging to children, no one disagrees that the way in which people divorce plays a significant role. All the top researchers in the field have come to the conclusion that it is the way in which people divorce (including what they do or do not tell their children) and the parental conflict that damages children and their development. The traditional system for divorce causes continued problems and challenges for families that only exacerbate existing tensions and stress.

Ripping families apart just because marriages are over has severe and lasting consequences to the former spouses, their children, the family, future generations of that family, and society as a whole. The power of words has long been recognized in adages, such as "the pen is mightier than the sword." Whether spoken or written, language is tremendously forceful, whether for building up or tearing down. In the course of any divorce litigation, words are employed to craft correspondence, declarations and pleadings, designed to coerce a settlement, or otherwise persuade a judge to the client's favor. Outcomes are often determined by the way in which the "game" is designed. As the Bible says, "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

Mark Baer has written extensively on this subject. Four of his many articles on the topic are "Is the Adversary Model Appropriate or Suitable for Family Law Matters?", " The Waiting Game," " The Perfect Storm: Lawyer Limitations and the Adversarial Model in Family Law," and " Family Law Litigation: The Gift That Keeps On Giving!"

Custody Mediator in Pasadena, California

Mr. Baer is a skilled family law mediator, and has the honors and awards to support the claim. He understands that there is no single solution to resolving issues pertaining to parenting plans and timeshare arrangements as no two families in conflict are exactly alike. With a personalized approach to your case, he can better find the amicable solution you and your spouse or domestic partner need to find so badly right now.

You can rely on him to utilize his impressive knowledge that extends well beyond the law itself to assist you in concluding your child custody mediation. Backed by extensive experience and dedication to finding practical solutions, he has much to offer anyone seeking answers, strategies, and actions which will resolve child custody issues.

Need legal help with child custody? Contact Pasadena mediator Mark B. Baer to discuss what is happening. He can assist you with parenting plans and timeshare arrangements. Over the years, Mr. Baer has mentored hundreds of individuals in this type of difficult situation, helping them resolve issues pertaining to their children.

The Difference With Our Firm:

  • 25 Years of Mediation Experience

  • Client-Focused Care

  • Customized Solutions Through Mediation

  • Global Awards - 2016 Winner
  • ProVisors Member
  • Avvo Rating - 10.0 Superb Top Attorney: Family
  • Super Lawyers - Mark Baer