Mediation provides a safe, comfortable, impartial setting for you and the other parent to come together with a trained professional and come up with ideas to solve the dilemma of what is best for your children. After all, you are the parents. Shouldn't you be the ones to decide what is best for your family?
Mediation is a unique opportunity for you to make the decisions and agreements about your children. It is totally confidential, impartial, and voluntary. So, don't pass up the opportunity to have this input to your family's future before the painful ordeal of a trial and court order.
Frequently asked questions:
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process which begins with both parents meeting together with a mediator who will help to structure your discussion regarding your children and their best interests. It is your opportunity to make agreements outside the court room and come up with ideas which will work with your family's future.
Do I have to mediate?
When you are involved in a court case and you cannot agree on parenting issues, the Court may order that you attend mediation. In that case, the Court requires you to devote at least two hours to try and come up with a solution to serve the best interests of your children. Although you must mediate, any agreement you come up with is totally voluntary.
Who has to be there?
Normally, only the parents and the mediator attend the mediation sessions. On rare occasions, attorneys may be present or, also rarely, a third party who is a possible custodian may be present.
What does the mediator do?
The mediator is a totally impartial professional who has been specifically trained to help you and the other parent to set aside some of your differences and discuss what is in the best interests of your children. The mediator does not make decisions, nor does she pass judgment in any way. She is there to keep the mediation on track and help you explore alternatives to conflict and trial.
Do I have to agree to anything?
Well, no, you absolutely do not have to agree to anything. However, keep an open mind. This is your opportunity to make agreements without a third party telling you what is in your children's best interests. Take advantage of this process.
How much does mediation cost?
Private mediation is billed at 200.600 per party per two-hour session. Some court-ordered mediation is billed on the sliding scale set by the Jackson County Circuit Court. When this office receives notice that you are to attend mediation here, you will receive a letter with the rate you will need to pay.
How long does mediation take?
Private mediation takes as long as you and the other parent need. Some clients come to an agreement in as little as an hour. Some require more than one session. Since the nature of mediation is that it is all voluntary, the length of mediation varies greatly.
If the Court orders you to attend mediation, the session must be for at least two (2) hours unless an agreement is reached sooner than that.
How do I set up my mediation?
If you would like to schedule private mediation, just call our office for a mutually agreeable time and to provide some initial information.
If you have been ordered to mediation by a court, you will receive a packet of information and a choice of appointment times. Of course, it will be necessary for both parties to be present.
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