- No Cost
- Faster, safe, private and confidential
- Improves communication between the Parents
- Diffuses emotional conflict
- Helps parents adapt to change
- Gives the parties control over a personalized solution that works best for a family’s situation
- Serves as a resource for children’s needs and parenting skills
- Children gain benefits from the emotional and financial support of both parents
Who can qualify for Mediation?
Parents who are:
- Never Married
- Grandparent/Legal Guardian
- Anyone needing a parenting plan or modification of a court-approved parenting plan may participate
How does it work?
Mediation is scheduled for up to two hour sessions. However, sessions may be longer if complex issues ae involved. The mediator will work with parents and help them develop a parenting plan, and parents will look at various options rather than arguing with each other. Parenting success is more likely to occur when both parents are committed to a plan that makes sense to them. You can obtain an application from the Coordinator of the Access and Visitation Program; or the Family Court Judge of the Superior Court can issue an Order for Mediation cases that are before him/her.
- Focus on the future
- No interruption
- Avoid the blame game and fact wars; and
- No name calling, yelling or threats
- Facilitate a discussion
- Parents are encouraged to discuss their needs and hopes for the future.
- Focus on the Future.
- Mediation can help parents design a plan for present custody and future access and visitation with their child(ren)
- The mediator is a neutral party who does not make decisions for the parents.
- The mediator encourages cooperation and fairness.
- The mediator assists parents in reaching an understanding of the visitation problems, listing possible solutions, evaluating choices, and putting a plan in writing
- Must always be “in the best interest of the child”;
- Must be presented to the court or the administrative hearing officer for approval; and
- Is binding on the parents once approved by the court.
- Parenting times
- Communication, guidelines and ground rules for communication
- Establish a parenting time schedule, including a holiday parenting time and vacation time
- Self-Determination-Parents make their own decisions and decide together how their plan needs to be
- Accountability, a court approved parenting plan is legally binding
- Eliminate misunderstandings – Describes how things will be done and makes expectations clear
- Flexibility, As long as parents get along and are able to work things out, knowing if things can’t be worked out, they have a fall back plan they can follow