Visitation Frequently Asked Question

  1. Who are the mediators? Mediators are well trained volunteers from our community. They are not  acting as attorneys. They are not there to determine who is right or who is wrong. They are there to help you talk about your child. They will not give legal advice.
  2. May I bring an  attorney to mediation? You may bring an attorney  or a support person with you to mediation. They may not come into the mediation room with you. You may ask for a break at any time to consult with your attorney. Please let the mediator know you will be bringing someone with you.
  3. Should my children come with me to mediation? No, children are not allowed at intake or at mediation. Please arrange for childcare . Parents needs to give the mediation and intake their full attention.
  4. How long does mediation last? The mediation sessions are individualized to meet the needs of both parents and mediators.  Plan for about an hour initial interview at the CMS office and two hours for the initial mediation. Sometimes in more detailed cases it may require more than one session for the parents or caregivers to create their parenting plan and the mediators are happy to take the time you need..
  5. What is the cost of mediation? There is an administrative fee of $30.00 for each party payable at the intake interview but all mediation are conducted at no charge.   However, we do ask that you give us 24 hours notice if you will be canceling a mediation session. A fee may be charged if you do not show up as scheduled.
  6. Will my child’s other parent ( caregiver)  be allowed to scream at me? NO! The mediators will maintain a safe, respectful environment and if at any point they feel things are not progressing they can and will terminate the session.
  7. What does a mediation session look like? Both parties are seated at a table with two mediators. A picture of the child is placed on the table to remember that the focus is on the child not the participants. The mediators will ask questions to get the conversation started about the parenting plan. Parties will take turns talking and may bring up anything they feel will help the process as long as they are respectful. Once the parties agree on the parenting plan, the agreement is signed. Additional session may be held if needed.
  8. What kinds of things are on the parenting plan? You will be given a parenting plan template at the initial in-take in the CMS office. You may take it home and review it. You may also bring up anything related to the care of the child that you deem important even if it is not on the plan. The mediators will walk through the plan with you in the mediation step by step to help you discuss the care of the child (ren).
  9. Why should we participate in mediation instead of letting the courts decide? You certainly have the option to let the judge decide your visitation plan, however you know your child and situation better than anyone so having input into the plan will usually be better for the child involved.
  • Mediation is private you are not in a court room. What is said in mediation remains private.
  • We will make every effort to work with you to make your mediation session convenient to your schedule.
  • There are not the same evidences rules that are needed in court so parents or caregivers may say or consider whatever they feel will be helpful
  • There are no losers in a mediation. Parties may talk until they are able to agree on a solution that satisfies everyone involved.