What is mediation?
Mediation is a meeting with a mediator to try and reach an agreement about child custody 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 child custody and parenting time. Mediation is confidential and no information or recommendations from the sessions will be told to the judge or attorneys. You will be asked to sign the mediation guidelines and complete the questionnaire.
Can I ask for mediation without going to the 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.
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.
Will I have to meet with the other party?
Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) mediators will determine if a joint meeting is appropriate. If there is an Order of Protection in place, mediators will meet with the parties individually at first to determine whether to proceed with mediation. In accordance with the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedures, Rule 68 (B), each party has the right to request that reasonable procedures be in place at the mediation to protect a victim of domestic violence. We have protective procedures. Please call to request arrangements.
What if the other parent fails to appear for the mediation appointment?
The mediator will only attempt to reschedule if there is good cause for the missed appointment. Otherwise, mediation may end and the mediator will report the missed appointment to the judge. The mediator may also recommend that the Court charge a no-show fee of $166.00.
What if I must reschedule my mediation conference?
You need to contact Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) immediately. Under certain circumstances, mediation appointments can be rescheduled with the agreement of all parties. If all parties are not in agreement to reschedule the mediation, the mediation appointment will continue as scheduled. If you have a pending court date, it may not be possible to reschedule your appointment.
Who can attend the mediation conference?
Typically, the parents and the mediator are the only people included in mediation; however the mediator may include other parties under certain circumstances.
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.
How do I file an objection to my mediation agreement?
If you reached an agreement in mediation and now want to file an objection, complete this form. You need to give this form to Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) and the other party. The objection form must be received at Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) on or before the final objection period date.
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.
Are children interviewed in mediation?
Children are typically not interviewed in mediation since the goal is to help the parents reach an agreement regarding their child(ren)’s care.
How long do I have to wait to file for mediation again after our last mediation?
Typically six months, however, there may be exceptions.
Do I need to bring evidence to my mediation appointment?
Since mediation is confidential and geared towards problem solving, there is no need to provide evidence or documentation.