first of all, my heart goes out to anyone having to go thru this. it's been over 10 years ago, but i went thru a 2 year long divorce and custody battle with my exhusband that cost me over $40K. feel free to e-mail me directly if you have any questions at all. chances are, i've been thru it & know how it works. ____@____.com or feel free to call me ###-###-####.
in response to your posting, you are probably right that if the judge has set temporary orders to remain the same, chances are they will remain the same in the final hearing. not sure what the kids' mother is doing that would prompt you guys to seek custody. luckily i have been blessed to have always been awarded custody, however, there have been a few times over the years when we have gone back to court to seek supervised visitation.
we've been thru it all...child studies, home studies, exchanges at the police station, restraining orders, exchanges at the childrens' place, etc. all of the home study type stuff is a joke. they send some court appointed person into your home to WATCH you interact with your kids and see how they respond to you, you respond to them, etc. even in my situation, i felt like i was putting on a show and acting much nicer than i normally would. the mom in your case will do the same. so in the end, the results will probably not have much change ont he orders already put in place. we even had a superviser go with my daughter to my ex's home for visitation (which i had to pay half of). when the supervisor would go in the other room or go to the restroom, my ex would grab my daughter by the arm and threaten her and say mean things to her.
i'm curious if you are going thru this in dallas county or tarrant county. mine was in dallas county, but they're all about the same. unless the child has been assaulted and nearly killed, it seems, they don't do anything.
now finally to answer your question about mediation. if you go to mediation...a couple of things can happen. with mediation you can hopefully get most of the junk agreed upon to save you money in court in the long run. if it's agreed upon in mediation, then the attorneys will just need to take the information before the judge for the judge to sign off on.
it is my understanding that if you guys mutually agree to not have the home study and call this custody thing quits, then whatever you agree on, the judge will sign off on, too.
the purpose of the home study would be if you were to continue to seek custody. if you are willing to drop it, then there would be no need for a home study. make sense?
there were a number of things in my divorce that the judge ordered for my husband to do that he never did. one of them was for his current wife visit the psychologist who was doing the home studies at his office for a consultation. that never happened, and unless i were to push it at the time and spend more $$$, then there is no other way for it to be pushed.
i'd like to give you the name and number of a man i know thru the southlake chamber of commerce who specializes in mediation. you may be able to reach him today even to get more information on what you are needing. be sure to let him know that A. W. with home interiors from the southlake chamber of commerce leads group gave you his information.
here it is:
Dan Snell, JD, PsyDp
Mediation, Diplomacy & Negotiation Services