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Family Court Mediation FAQs

What issues can be mediated?

  • Child custody, child support, equitable distribution of property, post-separation support and alimony can all be addressed.

Who is the mediator?

  • Usually the mediator is an attorney who is actively practicing family law in your area. 

Who will be there?

  • Both parties, both attorneys, and the mediator.  The mediator will typically request that parties come alone (meaning no family members, new significant others or friends attend).

How long will it take?

  • The session could last for a few hours, the entire day, or multiple days.  An impasse will be declared if, after a few rounds of negotiations, it becomes clear that a settlement is out of reach. 

Will I have to see the opposing party?

  • The mediator will typically begin the day by bringing everyone into one room and going over the procedure.  The parties will then split off into different rooms and remain apart throughout the session.  If the case involves a history of domestic violence or some other reason that makes it unsafe or inappropriate for the parties to be in the same room, the mediator should be informed ahead of time.

What happens if we reach an agreement?

  • The agreement will be memorialized in a separation agreement or consent order that will be drafted and signed by both parties that day.

What happens if we don’t reach an agreement?

  • Any issues that are not settled at mediation can be resolved in court. 

How can I help make the day a success?

  • Meet with your attorney prior to mediation.  Provide all requested documents and review everything with your attorney.  Think about possible offers for each of your claims and what alternatives you may be comfortable agreeing to.  Enter the day with an open mind and a positive outlook.  The goal is to settle your case so that you can move on to the next chapter.  Keep in mind that the results in court can often be arbitrary and after great further expense.