Mediation is offered by the Superior Court. Mediation provides an opportunity for parents to make their own decisions about their children following separation or divorce. In Yavapai County, mediation of custody and parenting time disputes is encouraged by the judges. In fact, it is required in most Domestic Relations actions where disputes over children are involved.
In post decree matters, parties themselves may request mediation by submitting a Petition for Mediation or they may be ordered by the Court to attend. Although parents may be ordered to attend mediation, they will not be pressured to reach an agreement.
The mediation process directly involves both parents in developing a parenting plan which addresses decision-making responsibilities and how children will spend time with each parent. The focus of mediation is on the future rather than the past. While not every family will resolve all disputes regarding the future care of their children, most parents find mediation useful in defining their ongoing relationships with and responsibilities for their children.
Mediation is not a substitute for legal advice. Parents can make their own plans and decisions while continuing to receive legal advice from their attorneys.