Mediation is a confidential process that includes both parents and a neutral trained professional, designed to help parents come to agreements on the children’s issues in a divorce or parentage case. The mediator helps parents to communicate and resolve issues about custody and parenting time. The in-house mediators at our court only deal with the children’s issues, not with financial issues. Summit County has a number of attorney mediators in the community who can assist couples with the financial issues as well.
The mediation is confidential, meaning that nothing that is discussed in the mediation meeting can be testified to in court, and the mediator cannot be called a witness. The exceptions to this rule are: (1 the mediator is lead to believe that a child is being abused or neglected; (2 the mediator is lead to believe that a party is going to harm themselves, harm the other party, or harm a 3rd party; (3 the party is planning to commit, or in the process of committing a felony, and shares that knowledge with the mediator.
If parties come to an agreement, the mediator writes out a Memorandum of Understanding of the issues the parties agree on. That MOU is then submitted to the court or to the attorneys for the parties. The parties also receive a copy.