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Does a custody dispute need to go to trial?

No. Only about 1 to 2% of all custody disputes end in trial. Obviously, it is best if a mediated arrangement can be reached between the parents. Studies indicate that those custody disputes that go through mediation and reach a mutually agreeable arrangement can do much to lessen the trauma suffered by the child(ren) and have a greater chance of long term success. Judges, for the most part, welcome a mediated arrangement. Judges realize that no one knows a family better than the parents, so they would prefer the parents to continue to make all the decisions for the family and the child(ren). When parents do end up going to trial over custody, often times the courtís decision is not necessarily favorable for one parent over the other. The judge will grant an order that attempts to please both sides. Rarely does one parent feel as though he or she is victorious.