Domestic & Family Law

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is when a neutral third party helps facilitate an agreement between the parties. The mediator does not make decisions. The parties make the decisions, but the mediator helps them along. You can do private mediation before or after a Complaint has been filed.
You can address custody, child support, alimony, and property issues in mediation. Mediation is generally less expensive and not as time-consuming as court. The parties control the outcome. The entire process can be settled in one day, and you can leave a private mediation with a binding settlement document.

The process is very civil and dignified. It can set the tone for how the parties deal with each other from that point forward. If the parties are able to resolve the issues incident to their separation at mediation, typically they work together and treat each other better in subsequent dealings with children or otherwise. You do not necessarily need a lawyer to act as a mediator, but it is recommended. A non-lawyer mediator will not know the law.



It is important to know that child custody mediation is now mandatory in our counties. The way that the child custody mediation works is that the parents meet in a group with the mediator who shows them a video and explains certain aspects of the law to them. This mediator is a nonpartisan who attempts to resolve this situation between the parties. He does not make decisions. He is a state certified mediator and there is no additional cost to you for this mandatory process.

After the initial meeting, individual appointments are set up for the respective couples so that they can meet and try to reach a parenting agreement. The parenting agreement can address all issues of child custody, but does not address child support.
We will go over a parenting agreement with you in detail prior to you signing it. If the parents reach a parenting agreement, the same is then presented to a judge for approval and that becomes an order of the court and enforceable by the court’s full powers.

The mediation is mandatory and your failure to attend and participate can result in sanctions by the court. No lawyers or other parties or children are present at the mediations.

Do you have questions on what will happen with your children if your marriage ends? Do you want to know where the children will stay and how visitation will take place? »