What is Mediation?
is a problem solving process in which a neutral professional (the mediator)
facilitates communication between parents regarding visitation issues
and concerns. The mediator helps parents develop a visitation plan that
is in the best interest of their children.
Who May Request Visitation Mediation?
married parents may request visitation mediation through this program
if one of them currently lives in Franklin County, Ohio. Additionally,
never married parents who have a paternity or child support order from
this Court may request mediation to establish visitation for a child
who is the subject of that order.
How Does Mediation Work?
A parent who would like to establish a visitation plan contacts Mediation Services and completes a Request for Visitation Mediation form. Mediation Services then schedules a mediation session and notifies both parents, by mail, of the date and time of the mediation session. Mediation sessions are usually held in the Mediation Services Offices, 373 S. High Street, 3rd floor, Columbus, Ohio.
the mediation session, the mediator will ask each parent to present
his or her view of the issues. The mediator will also ask the
parents to discuss the needs of their children regarding visitation
and the ways in which the parents can meet these needs. The mediator
guides the communication process so that all participants have a chance
to be heard. Conflicts are discussed one at a time, and various
solutions are explored. The mediator may help parents develop options
to resolve the issues, but the final agreement is made by the parents.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediation is a process that gives the parents the opportunity to resolve issues for their children and themselves rather than have a judge or magistrate decide for them.
mediator does not make any decisions for the parents but helps the parents
come to an agreement that works for them.
Do We Both Have to Participate?
is a joint, cooperative problem solving process and it is necessary
for both parents to participate. The parents work together, with the
help of the mediator, to develop a mutually agreed upon visitation plan.
Do I Need an Attorney?
help the participants reach their own agreements and can not give legal
advice. Attorneys rarely attend mediation sessions. However, many participants
find it useful to consult with an attorney, either before or after the
mediation session, to discuss their rights and responsibilities concerning
visitation. Attorneys help their clients understand the law and
make informed decisions. When the parents reach agreement in mediation,
they may want to incorporate the final agreement into an Agreed Judgment
Entry. Attorneys can assist with this process.
How Long Will Mediation Take?
mediation session will take 1½ to 2½ hours depending on
the number and complexity of the issues that are being mediated.
The participants may meet for only one session or be asked to return
for additional sessions.
What Does It Cost?
is currently no charge to participants. This mediation program
is funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The Mediated Agreement
agreement that is reached must be voluntary on the part of both parties.
No agreement will be signed unless all participants are satisfied with
all statements contained in the agreement.
agreements become legally binding if a formal motion is filed with the
Court, the agreement is presented to the Court in the form of an Agreed
Judgment Entry, and the Court approves the proposed Agreed Judgment
What Happens if No Agreement is Reached?
no agreement is reached, a parent can file a formal Court action.
What about Confidentiality?
that is said during a mediation session is confidential. Neither
the mediator nor the mediator's notes can be subpoenaed to Court.
However, by law, mediators are required to report any new allegation
of abuse, neglect or threat of bodily harm to a child.
Can I Bring My New Spouse, Fiancé, Girlfriend, Boyfriend or Children to the Mediation?
the mediation session involves only the parents. If you believe
there are other people who should participate, discuss the issue with
Childcare is NOT available. Please do not bring children to the mediation.
For more information, contact:
Office of Mediation Services
373 South High Street, 3rd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 525- 6147
or (614) 525-6640
Fax - (614) 525-3748