What is Family Mediation?
The process where a neutral person (the mediator) helps each person listen to the other person's point of view, convey their concerns and needs, and focus on the needs of the child(ren) and develop a co-parenting plan that they can both agree on.
What is a Mediator?
A mediator is a person specifically trained in conflict resolution. They use various techniques to assist in helping both parties come to an agreement.
Why do courts order Mediation?
Trial should be a last resort. It is always preferable for both parties to come to agreement rather than having a court-imposed plan. Parties who work together minimize costs and reduce the stress on everyone involved including, most importantly, the child(ren). Mediation is your opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive plan for the long-term health of you and your family.
What is the cost of Mediation?
The cost of mediation is $100 per hour, which is typically split between the two parties. A mediation session typically lasts 1-2 hours depending on the progress made. Mediation can range from 2-6 sessions depending on the number of issues to mediate. The cost of mediation should be weighed against the cost of continued litigation and the financial and emotional toll it can have on both parties. This is money that could be spent on enriching the lives of you and/or your children.
Most cases are appropriate for mediation. However, a case may not be appropriate for mediation. If you do not feel safe around the other parent, mediation may not be appropriate without a specially trained mediator.
What about my attorney?
Your attorney can help prepare you for a positive mediation experience. By law, attorneys cannot be present during custody mediation sessions unless the mediator requests that they be there. However, you have the right to have your attorney review any agreement you reach, prior to signing.
When is Mediation not appropriate?
How can we be successful in Mediation?
Being willing to work hard, be patience, have an open mind, and be willing to listen carefully to the mediator will help lead to successfully reaching an agreement. Often, situations that seem hopeless are resolved in mediation. A commitment of your time and effort are needed to reach that goal.
What happens once we come to an agreement?
As required by Idaho law your agreement will be submitted to the court. If all issues have been resolved no further court proceedings are typically necessary. If only some of the issues are resolved by your agreement, additional steps in the court process may be needed. When your agreement is submitted, the judge will review it for enforceability and the best interests of you and/or your child(ren).