1. What is mediation?
is a required Family Court process where persons are given an opportunity
to resolve their differences and make their own agreement which, when
signed by a Judge or Commissioner, becomes an Order of the Court.
2. Is mediation required in all cases?
Mediation is required in virtually all civil cases. The Court
believes that all parties should attempt to mediate their differences
and reach an agreement. Although a motion to bypass mediation
may be filed, it would normally be granted only in exceptional situations.
3. Is mediation required in cases where there is domestic violence?
there is a no contact order between the parties or if one of the parties
is found to have committed an act of domestic violence against the other
party, there will be no mediation of custody or visitation issues.
Child support would, however, be mediated.
4. What will the mediator do?
mediator will ask each party what their position is regarding the issue
before the Court. The mediator also will go over some possible
resolutions to the case. If the parties come to an agreement,
the mediator prepares a consent order which all parties sign.
If no settlement is reached at mediation, the case will be scheduled
for a formal court hearing.
5. How should I prepare for mediation?
should complete all forms mailed to you and bring evidence to support
your position with you to mediation (such as proof of support payments
or medical statements from doctors). You are permitted, but not
required, to bring an attorney to your mediation session. If you
are considering obtaining an attorney, do so immediately as your mediation
will not be continued to allow you time to secure the services of an
6. Who can attend mediation?
petitioner and respondent must attend and their attorneys may attend.
Children do not attend the mediation conference. Witnesses are
not allowed for mediation.
7. What happens if mediation is not successful?
no settlement is reached at mediation, the case will be scheduled for
a formal court hearing. In custody/visitation cases, parents must
complete a parent education program before their case is scheduled before
a Judge. The mediator may recommend an Interim Order (a temporary
order) for the Judge or Commissioner to sign if there is no prior Order
for visitation or support.
8. Can the mediator predict the outcome of my case if it goes to a Judge
Each case in Family Court is decided on the information presented at
the hearing. However, in child support cases, the Judges and Commissioners
usually follow the Delaware Child Support Formula which the mediator
will calculate to determine an appropriate amount of support.
Please remember that the mediator cannot give you legal advice.
9. How do I request a continuance of my mediation?
10. What happens if I do not appear for mediation?
request for a continuance is required to be made in writing to the appropriate
mediator no less than five days prior to the mediation conference.
The request must contain the following information:
The original filing date of the petition.
b. The position of the opposing party regarding the continuance request.
c. The number of times the case has been scheduled.
d. The reason the request is being made.
mediator will consider all of the above in determining whether to grant
you filed the petition, the mediator may recommend that the petition
be dismissed. If you are the respondent and notice was sent to
your last known address, the mediator may recommend that a capias be
issued for your arrest or recommend an order granting the relief requested
by the petitioner.