Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have been divorced for more than two years. However, the parents have begun to argue over their agreed-upon child custody arrangement. Under the current custody order, the musicians’ three sons spend the majority of their time with Stefani. This was primarily due to the fact that Stefani set roots in Los Angeles while Rossdale chose to travel and tour with his band. Staying with Stefani allowed the children to enjoy a sense of stability in their lives after their parents’ divorce.
Rossdale, who recently wrapped up his most recent tour, is looking to change up the custodial arrangement. He plans to spend more time in Los Angeles and wants to have more one-on-one time with his three sons. Stefani appears to be resistant to any changes to the current custody arrangement. According to reports, she firmly believes that uprooting and changing the kids’ lives would be detrimental to them at this time.
Stefani and Rossdale also reportedly have different plans for how their children should be raised. Stefani seems to be hesitant to give Rossdale a larger custody timeshare percentage because he “she wants to raise the kids a certain way” and he simply “has different priorities.”
Modifying a Child Custody Order
Just because parents agree on a custody arrangement during a divorce doesn’t mean that arrangement is set in stone forever. If and when circumstances change, parents have the right to request a modification to that order.
Parents don’t necessarily have to go to court to get an order modified. It is possible to use an alternative dispute resolution tool to change an existing order. If negotiations are successful, parents can submit their new order to the court. Once it is reviewed, a judge has the authority to enter the new judgment.
If parents can’t agree on new terms, or if one parent refuses to negotiate, it is possible to ask a court to intervene. However, the parent seeking the modification must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that modification is necessary.
Mediation as a Tool for Negotiating Custody
The parents are trying to work out their differences and find a solution amicably using mediation. Mediation is an alternative to the family court system. Rather than litigating a matter in front of a judge, parents meet with a neutral third party known as a family law mediator. In many cases, the mediator is a retired family law attorney or judge. Parents have the right to be represented by attorneys throughout the mediation process.
Here’s a brief overview of what happens during mediation:
- Initial Meeting: The mediator sits down with both parents, explains the ground rules, and identifies the issues that must be resolved.
- Individual Meeting: The mediator will meet with each parent individually to identify goals, issues, and possible problems.
- Identify Solutions: Once the mediator has had the opportunity to speak with each parent individually, he or she will begin to help both parents identify the big picture issues and possible solutions. The mediator will act as a messenger and bring proposed solutions from one parent to the other. The mediator’s primary job is to help parents move in a positive direction and find a mutually-agreeable arrangement that is in the child’s best interest.
- Joint Meeting: Once the mediator believes that the parents have moved toward a resolution, he or she may suggest a final joint meeting. This can allow parents to speak face-to-face and hammer out the finer details of their custody arrangement.
- Prepare and Sign New Agreement: The mediator will draw up a contract once both parents have made concessions and agreed on a new custody plan. The contract will reflect all agreed upon terms and be legally binding when signed.
Mediation discussions and agreements are confidential. As a result, it is a popular alternative dispute resolution tool for celebrity parents who want to avoid having their personal affairs in the limelight.
Family disputes can be stressful. If you need help understanding your rights or options, do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles family law attorneys for help. We offer a free consultation to all new clients.