Mediation is a meeting with a mediator to try and reach an agreement about legal decision-making and parenting time. In mediation, parents are encouraged to talk about their present and future plans, as well as the needs of their child(ren) in an open and problem-solving manner.
The mediator is neutral and objective. His/her role is to help you work together to resolve problems about legal decision-making and parenting time. Mediation is confidential and no information or recommendations from the session(s) will be reported to the Judge or attorneys.
You will be asked to complete an intake form prior to your appointment and will sign an agreement to mediate form with your mediator in the session.
- Why did the Judge send us to Mediation?
The Judge sent you to mediation because you have a dispute regarding child custody and parenting time. The Judge wants you and the other parent to have the chance to cooperate and resolve problems involving the care of your children.
- Can I attend Mediation without going through a judge?
Yes, if you have a case in Pinal County Superior Court. You can request mediation if you need help in resolving a problem with custody or parenting time.
If both you and the other parent agree to attend mediation you can complete the Joint Request for Mediation. If only one parent wants to request mediation, and you know the other parent’s address, you can complete the Mandatory Request for Mediation form. You must mail the form to Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) and the other party.
- What happens if we reach an agreement in Mediation?
If you reach a full or partial agreement in mediation, Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) will prepare a parenting plan outlining your agreements. The agreement will be mailed to you so you can review the document and determine if the agreement is accurate. After a 10-day objection period, if no objection is filed, the plan will be forwarded to the Judge for final approval and to become a court order. If an objection is filed by one of the parties, the mediator will contact the parties and attempt to resolve the areas in dispute.
- What happens if we do not reach an agreement in Mediation?
If you do not reach an agreement, Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) will report to the Judge that you participated in mediation, but no agreement resulted.
- Who can attend the Mediation appointment?
Typically, the parents and the mediator are the only people included in mediation; however, the mediator may include other parties under certain circumstances.
- Do I need to bring any documentation with me to the appointment?
Since mediation is confidential and geared toward problem-solving, there is no need to provide evidence or documentation.