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When do I have to mediate a family law issue?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Firm News |

Mediation is the most common form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It is basically a settlement conference with a trained mediator. Mediation can be very helpful to help parties settle a family law case when they are unable to do so on their own. Many people use a mediator, even when it is not required. But in most family law cases, mediation at some point is required by a statute, court rule, or a court order.

Mediation is usually mandatory for divorces, committed intimate relationships, and parentage or paternity cases. In some counties, like King County, a mediation deadline is actually scheduled by the court on the day a divorce petition is filed. If you do not meet that deadline, you will not be allowed to proceed to trial.

Scheduling a mediation date

If your family law case has a requirement to mediate, you and the other party should schedule your mediation well before the deadline. If your mediation is successful, you can have the court enter your agreed orders, the trial date will be canceled, and the case will be over.