Either on written agreement between the parties or by order of the court, the parties may attend mediation. Almost all courts require that the parties attend mediation before proceeding to trial. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which a mediator seeks to work together with the parties to come to an acceptable agreement which is binding on all parties involved.
In selecting a mediator, it is important to select an experienced mediator who not only is well versed in Family Law but knows the Judge in which the case is set and can give the parties some helpful advice as to their experience in that court. It is important to note that a mediator cannot provide either party with legal advice; therefore; it is important to retain an attorney to help advocate for you and advise you during the mediation.
While there is no requirement to enter into an agreement at mediation, the parties need to be aware that if an agreement is reached and signed and reduced to writing, then the agreement is binding upon the parties and that neither party may void the agreement, absent fraud or other extenuating circumstances.