Mediation involves bringing together disputing parents with a neutral third
person, called a
mediator. The mediator assists the parents in identifying
issues, solutions and alternatives.
All decision-making authority rests
with the parents; parents are not required to reach an
mediatorís objective is to help the parents reach a mutually acceptable
agreement on disputed issues: parenting arrangements, child support,
Mediatorís Objectives / Rules
To help parents avoid the
need for modifications and help parents to communicate better.
To mediate a workable parenting plan
agreement that is in the best interest of the
To help parents avoid an expensive,
long/bitter custody battle and the Court deciding the
To provide insight on child arrangements:
regular schedule, holidays, vacations, financial
Mediators do not provide legal advice, but
can give legal information.
Mediators will remain neutral with respect
to any and all the issues pending in the
Mediators do not represent disputing
parties. Possible conflicts should be revealed to
Mediators are not decision-makers,
such as a judge/arbitrator. Mediators will question
Mediation sessions are normally scheduled for a 2 or 4-hour session and can take
several sessions to complete.
Not all issues in the dispute have to be settled in mediation, unsettled
issues can be left for the Court to decide.
Attorneys can attend or
sustain from mediation sessions. Your attorney should advise you if he/she
should accompany you to some or all of the mediation sessions. Your
attorney should further advise you about mediation.
Confidentiality & Disclosure
Confidentiality: Everything said in mediation, by either parent and mediator is
confidential. The exception to the confidentiality rule is when child
abuse first arises that was unknown or one party(s) threatens the other party
with physical bodily harm. If either of the two situations arise in the
mediation session, it will be terminated.
Disclosure: Full disclosure of income,
assets and debts is required. (financial statements, income tax returns,
If you need your attorney present with you during mediation sessions, then by
all means have your attorney present. If one parent is going to have
his/her attorney present, the other parent should have his/her attorney present;
this will help to keep a balance. Examples when to have your attorney
present: other parent is abusive or overbearing, parent is depressed, complex
issues, unsure, etc. Parentsí attorneys will prepare and file the final
agreement with the Court.
Mediatorís Report to the Court: (1) Mediation was successful. (2)
Mediation was unsuccessful. (3) Mediation was partially successful.
(4) Mediation is ongoing and will continue after an agreed upon child evaluation
Mediators charge by the hour; this time includes initial and final preparation
time. Mediatorsí hourly rates can/do vary from $50 to $225. Some
mediators use a sliding scale to help those parents that cannot afford regular
Hourly rates are usually split between
parents unless parents/attorneys make other arrangements prior to mediation.