Indiana child custody mediation is generally required by courts across the state by local rules or custom, particularly if the case is anticipated to take 2 or more hours to try in court. Under a key case from the Indiana Supreme Court (Fuchs v. Martin, 2006), a trial court can order the parties to custody mediation before court. This does not violate the constitutional right to access of courts. A trial court can still hear emergencies or waive mediation if it believes this is prudent.
Courts typically order child custody mediation and it occurs before a final divorce trial and also in custody modification matters that are filed after the divorce is finalized. Indiana custody mediation and other civil mediation itself, is where a neutral third party attorney (who is the mediator and usually specially trained) receives confidential submissions (basically letters or memos) from each attorney as to the case dynamics and “sticking” points before the mediation.
Mediation for child custody occurs by the parties then meeting with this informed mediator at a given time and location with their counsel; during mediation, the mediator tries to broker a deal by the “give and take” between the parties in the mediation process. There is a unique dynamic to mediation where even highly contested custody matters, with a skilled mediator who understands domestic cases, resolve more often than not. Largely this is because the parties have control and do not have to chance the outcome in court. This is not to diminish the role of the trial court judge who oversees the entire process, nor your attorney who is there as your advocate who does not play role as negotiator as the mediator does.
If an agreement is reached, the mediator reduces it to writing, the parties with their counsel sign off, and it is submitted to the court for review and approval. Approval by the court will generally occur so long as the agreement is the child’s best interests. Typically, the balance (or rest or earlier orders if after a divorce when mediation takes place) of the orders in the case remain binding if they are not changed by the mediated agreement. “Mediation child custody” are terms that were not commonly thought of together ten or fifteen years ago. Currently, mediation for child custody is the norm.
If you have a custody case, child custody mediation Indiana will likely be ordered. With committed litigants, lawyers, and a skilled mediator, child custody mediation will be a good use of your legal dollars and reduce ill will between you and your (former) spouse, ultimately helping the parents in reaching the child’s best interests. Even if an agreement is not reached, the mediation process typically clarifies the issues and better prepares the facts of the case for presentation to a neutral judge.
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