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In the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit, all parties in a contested family law matter are referred to mediation in an effort to have the parties control the outcome of their case. The types of cases that are Ordered to Mediation include dissolution of marriage, alimony or spousal support, property distribution and equitable distribution, parenting responsibility, child support, and parenting time. Per Administrative Order 2007-00-03, parties shall attend mediation unless otherwise excepted by statute, rule or court order. Family Mediation is provided in all counties within the Fourteenth Circuit.
Who Qualifies for the Program?
To qualify for the program the parties combined gross income can not exceed $100,000 per year. Gross income means the total income received before ANY deductions are taken out. If the parties’ combined gross income exceeds $100,000 per year they must schedule their mediation with a private mediator. The Family Mediation program can provide a list of certified family mediators practicing in the 14th Circuit or you can create your own list by visiting the Dispute Resolution Mediator Search website by clicking here.
From the search screen, select the type of mediator you are searching for and select the 14th Circuit then click on “Run Report”. A list will be provided of all certified family mediators who will mediate cases in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.
How much does it Cost?
The cost of mediation is directly related to the parties combined gross income. If the parties earn no more than a combined total of $50,000, each party is assessed a $60 per person per session fee. If the parties combined gross income is between $50,000 and $100,000 the parties will each be assessed a $120 per person per session fee. These fees must be paid to the clerk of court prior to mediation. Sessions are three hours in length and most cases require only one session.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
- You have a chance to present and discuss your ideas in an informal and private setting and by discussing your options, you may discover choices you did not know you had.
- In mediation, the parties have a better opportunity to control the outcome of their dispute.
- You can significantly lower your legal costs if the case is settled at mediation.