Family Court Mediation

What is Family Court Mediation?
In Family Court Mediation, parents meet with two specially trained mediators to discuss parenting arrangements and seek a resolution that is acceptable to both and in the best interest of the child(ren).

How Much Does It Cost?
There is no cost to the parties involved in the Family Court Mediation Program. The service is provided though funding from the New York State Unified Court System in conjunction with Jefferson and Lewis County Family Courts.

The time and willingness of the parties to reach a peaceful, mutually beneficial resolution to a painful concern is an investment in our children. What is the cost if you don’t?

What Happens In Mediation?
In the mediation, parents sit down with each other and the mediators to identify the issues and areas for discussion, establishing goals and common ground, and explore possible solutions. The mediators work with the parties to ensure equal participation, assist them in reaching an agreement, and write the final agreement. It is not the role of the mediators to provide legal advice.

Will I Have To Go To Court?
Mediation may eliminate the need for an appearance in Family Court. If an agreement is reached, mediation center staff will submit the petition and agreement to Family Court. If the judge approves the mediation agreement, the parties will receive a court order within a few weeks. If the judge wants to discuss the terms of the agreement, the parties will receive a notice to appear in Family Court.

How Does The Process Start?
Upon receiving a referral, agency staff will explain the program further and conduct a screening to determine whether the case is appropriate for mediation. The other party will then be contacted to discuss using mediation. Mediation is voluntary, so both parties must be willing to use the process in order to proceed. If the case is appropriate and both parties are willing, a mediation session is scheduled as soon as possible at a convenient time for all.

Who Are The Mediators?
Mediators are volunteers who have completed basic mediation training and specialized Family Court training. They come from all walks of life and are prepared to help families reach agreement on parenting arrangements.

Why Should I Try Mediation?
Mediation is quickly scheduled, free and private. It allows you to shape your own agreement and reflect a mutual decision in the best interest of your family. You can avoid court appearances and costs.

You can also protect your children from an adversarial environment by working together to establish parenting arrangements.

For more information, please contact our office at:

Resolution Center of Jefferson and Lewis Counties, Inc.
200 Washington Street, Suite 207
Watertown, NY 13601

Jefferson County: 785-0333
Lewis County: 376-7991