Imagine that a divorcing couple has a child, and as they enter discussions about their divorce, it is only a matter of time before child custody is a matter that is discussed. One way that child custody is often handled is through the courts. If the two parents can't agree on legal and/or physical custody, then a judge will need to make the ruling with a child's best interests in mind.
This is likely the worst option for any splitting couple though. With a judge's ruling, it takes the issue out of your hands -- which might sound good on paper, but when implemented you may feel like you could have sculpted a better arrangement if you and your ex-spouse had negotiated and discussed the issue in a rational and calm manner.
It is this second route that can benefit your child, you and your former spouse more than a judge's ruling. It is why divorce mediation, or simply mediation on the issue of child custody, can be greatly beneficial. It can lead to a calmer, less stressful discussion about child custody, visitation, and a host of other issues involving you, your spouse, and your children.
If you are in need of legal help in this regard, then you should consult with an attorney that has experience handling divorce mediation cases. For residents in State College, Pennsylvania and anyone in the surrounding area, you can consult with the attorneys at Engle & Kauffman if divorce mediation or child custody are issues you are dealing with right now.