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Information for Divorcing Parents and Attorneys

Mediation, Parents are Forever brochure
PDF file Parents are Forever 

Los Padres de Familia son Para Siempre, Mediacion de Familia
PDF file Los Padres de Familia son Para Siempre, Mediacion de Familia

 

 

SEARCH
Find an eligible
Family Mediator in Alabama

NEW VIDEO
The Goal of Family Mediation
: Placing Children First
Video from the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts.

Free Divorce & Family Mediation Program
Parenting, Divorce and Post-Divorce Issues

 
The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Inc., offers a FREE family mediation program to help families with children fashion a parenting plan for the judge. The Center will pay the cost of specially trained mediators to support the process.  Family income must be less than $75,000 and there must be a minor child (children).

SEARCH
Find an eligible
Family Mediator in Alabama

The Family Mediation program is a collaboration between the Center and the Supreme Court of Alabama. We have been expanding it since it started in December 2013.

Our goal is to help families with children and incomes under $75,000 fashion a parenting plan, specific to their family, to give to the judge.  The plan includes parenting time, responsibilities, support, and other items the family may want. 

The Center pays mediators with the special designation, *divorce/domestic relations, signifying 40 hours of specialized training. Mediators are also asked to give a small amount of pro bono time.

The program has proved successful. From December 2013-2015, we mediated 179 cases of which 143 have arrived at agreements (16 are in progress). We are proud to have assisted 262 children and their parents work through a difficult time. Our program was highlighted in the December 2014 issue of Alabama Lawyer,

This program is making a difference for Alabama families.

Is your county participating?

As of December 2015:

SEARCH THE COUNTY MAP
Find an eligible
Family Mediator in Alabama

For more information on our Family Mediation Program,
contact the Center.

 

What is Family Mediation?

Family mediation is a process where an impartial third person, the mediator, helps people negotiate with one another to resolve issues relating to parenting, divorce, or issues that arise after a divorce.

The mediator can:

NEW!
The Goal of Family Mediation
: Placing Children First - view this video from the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts.

 

Why use Mediation for Parenting, Divorce, and Post Divorce Issues?

  
Mediation has many advantages that
litigation does not have.

• In mediation, parties keep control over the outcome and solutions. They are familiar with issues unique to their family. Parents are able to focus on the needs of their children.

• Mediation is confidential and private.

• Disputes can be settled promptly. Mediation can be scheduled as soon as both parties agree to use mediation, even before legal papers are filed.

• Parties are able to reduce the emotional trauma for the family that divorce litigation can produce.

• Settlement in mediation is entirely voluntary. While the courts may order you to try mediation, either party or the mediator may end mediation at
any time.

• Mediation costs are usually significantly less than trial costs.

• Parties are more likely to comply with voluntary agreements that meet their needs.

What is a Mediator's Role?

The mediator is not a judge and does not render a decision or impose a solution on any party. Rather, the mediator helps those involved to talk to each other, thereby allowing them to resolve the dispute themselves in a way that meets the needs of both parties.

 

How does Mediation Work?

The mediator meets with the parties/parents in a room that allows for privacy and safety. Parties/parents may elect to bring their attorneys with them, and this is often advisable. After a brief description of the process, ground rules are set, confidentiality is explained, and parties are asked to sign a paper saying they agree to mediate. Parents may work toward creating a plan for parenting, and the parties may discuss assets, debts and spousal support.

Through mediation, parties have an opportunity to tailor a plan specifically suited to their needs and the needs of their children. The mediator will usually meet privately with each party to explore more fully the facts and needs of the parties. This gives the participants the opportunity to communicate to the mediator their real interests as well as to vent anger or frustration outside the presence of the opposing party.

When authorized by a party, the mediator will communicate ideas and proposals to the other party so that agreement can be reached. The agreement is then written down and signed by the parties.

 

Resources

Guide - The American Bar Association offers a guide, Preparing for Family Mediation, on their website, to assist parties in preparing for mediation to help ensure a successful experience. Download a copy at americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/dispute_resolution/Mediation_Guide_Family.pdf

uptoparents.org - A free, confidential, and interactive website for divorcing and divorced parents.

alabamamarriage.org - The Alabama Healthy Marriage & Relationship Education Initiative, or "AHMREI", (former name, Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative, or "ACHMI") is a partnership between Auburn University, Family Resource Centers, Mental Health Centers, and many other agencies and individuals at the State and Local levels who have joined together to build and sustain healthy relationships and stable marriages throughout Alabama.

bonusfamilies.com - Bonus Families® is the only international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence between divorced or separated parents and their combined families. Our goal? We’re here to support YOU.

family   family   family   family

Find a Family Mediator

Our state court roster contains the names of Family Mediators who have met the Mediation Registration Standards and Procedures adopted September 18,1998 and who have registered with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, Inc.

Find a Family Mediator

 

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