Family Mediation Program

Mediation, Parents are Forever brochure Los Padres de Familia son Para Siempre, Mediacion de Familia
PDF file Parents are Forever
PDF file Los Padres de Familia son
Para Siempre, Mediacion de Familia

Find an eligible
Family Mediator in Alabama

The Goal of Family Mediation:
Placing Children First
Alabama Administrative
Office of Courts.

Free Divorce & Family Mediation Program - Parenting & Divorce

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. 

Find an eligible
Family Mediator in Alabama

About the program:  The Parents are Forever Family Mediation Program is a collaborative effort of the Supreme Court of Alabama and the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, the administrator. 

This program makes it possible for parents with minor children who are undergoing a divorce, a CS case or a custody modification with minor children and have a family income of less than $60,0000 to work with a registered family mediator at no cost. The Center pays the mediators. Funding is limited.

Mediators will help parents toward the goal of a parenting plan and a financial plan to take care of the children.  Parents will always remain parents to their children and focusing on future provision and reduced conflict is so important. Forty three Alabama counties now participate.  Judges order parties into the program.

Sample order of Referral to Mediation (Word) 
Sample order of Referral to Mediation (pdf) 


Thanks to the support of the Alabama Supreme Court, mediators have been able to assist over 1,055 families who have entered the Parents are Forever Family Mediation program since 2012. These include parents and children who benefit from the parenting plans developed during the course of mediation. This program provides help to families undergoing a divorce, a CS case or a custody modification whose income is less than $60,000. Family mediators agree to take on these cases at a contract rate. The statistics follow:

2013 through December 31, 2022
Total Cases since 2013: 1,055

CY 2022 Statistics
Family Mediations: 30
Average Family Income:  $39,605.63
Children Benefited: 51
Agreements: 25 – --  Settlement Rate: 83.3%
Partial Agreements: 1
No Agreements: 4
Pro Bono Mediator hours: 50 hours

Thank you Alabama mediators for all your work to help Alabama families!


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:

  • Help parties discuss parenting time and responsibilities.
  • Facilitate discussion of assets and liabilities, including property and businesses, and spousal support, if any.
  • Allow each party the opportunity to communicate his or her concerns to the other party.
  • Encourage the parties to explore alternative ways to resolve problems.
  • Help parties negotiate an agreement satisfying to both.
  • Encourage parents to use problem-solving skills in the future to address issues and deal with conflict.  

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


What is a Mediator's Role?

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.

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.



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
dispute_resolution/Mediation_Guide_Family.pdf - A free, confidential, and interactive website for divorcing and divorced parents. - 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. - 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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What is Mediation?

- Mediation: Another Method for Resolving Disputes

- Advantages of Mediation

Family and Divorce Mediation

Foreclosure Prevention and Mortgage Modification Mediation

- Foreclosure Mediation FAQs

Landlord-Tenant Mediation


Private Judges

The Alabama Private Judge Act authorized the appointment of former or retired judges to serve as private judges in certain district and circuit court cases. - More -


Arbitration agreements, are often found in pre-printed consumer contracts. They require parties to the contract to resolve disputes in binding arbitration, rather than in court before a judge and/or jury. - More -


Mediation is a confidential, informal process during which an impartial third party, the mediator, assists disputing parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement regarding their dispute.

  • General Mediation offers a path to resolving many disputes. - More -
  • Family Mediation offers divorce and family mediation for parenting, divorce and post-divorce issues. - More -
  • Forclosure Prevention and Mortgage Modification Mediation offers specially-trained mediators to assist Alabama citizens with foreclosure and mortgage problems by mediating between the homeowner and the mortgage holder. - More -

Keeping your Information Safe

https:// is http secure.In keeping with industry standards, we have implemented a Secure Certificate on our website. You may see a lock symbol, a green color or the https:// protocol in the address bar. These indicate that you are accessing the real ACDR website and that the website encrypts transmitted data for additional protection.


Due to a high volume of spam, if you receive any communication from an entity purporting to be or representing the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, please verify by contacting the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution at (334) 356-3802.

Identity thieves continually develop new ways to try to find out your personal information. Some common tip-offs that an email is phony are typos, grammatical mistakes, awkward language, missing words, extra spaces, and other signs that the email was written unprofessionally. Such emails might also ask you to look at an attachment or click a link and then give your personal information on a Web page or in a form. Or the sender’s email address might look suspicious. However, attackers are getting better at creating phony emails that look legitimate, so if you feel at all uncomfortable about an email that claims to be from the Center contact us.


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And we have a YouTube channel!
It contains videos and links to videos related to our favorite topics... mediation, negotiation, arbitration, restorative justice. Visit Alabama Dispute Resolution Center on YouTube.


Alabama CDR is the state office of dispute resolution. At the Center, we work with the courts, the Alabama State Bar, state agencies, schools, community mediation initiatives, and businesses to promote early and peaceful resolution of disputes. We are the administrative arm of the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution.


Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution
(334) 356-3802