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Court-Ordered, Pre-Suit, or Post Suit Family Mediation

Family Law Mediation

Family mediation refers to mediation of disputed family matters, including but not limited to, parental responsibility, residence of children, time sharing, parental access issues, child support, debt and property distribution, alimony, and paternity.

Court-Ordered Mediation—once a divorce is filed the Court upon its own motion, or a motion by a party, refer all or any part of a family case to mediation.  Most Courts require that the mediation be set at an early stage of the proceedings and that no case may be scheduled for final hearing until a mediator’s report has been filed.  Typically, the Court enters an order referring the case to mediation.

Pre-Suit Mediation—Parties in a family case can always agree to voluntary mediation with a private mediator.  No court order is required.  Pre-suit mediation can be with attorneys or self-represented parties (pro se).  Most of the time the parties are pro se and opting to avoid using attorneys to save time, money and avoid the stress often associated with a litigated attorney-driven divorce.  The parties enter into an agreement to mediate with the mediator detailing the mediator’s fees and expenses.  The goal is to reach an agreement on all issues enabling the parties to file an uncontested divorce.

Post-Suit Mediation—A few family mediations involve post suit matters.  Relocation, modification of child support, parental responsibility, or time sharing are common post-divorce matters which can be medicated.