FAQ

How long does Cooperative Family Mediation take?

The time involved in reaching a fully-informed and agreement depends on several factors. If you have a couple of matters to resolve, you may need just one two-hour mediation session. If you are using mediation to make decisions on a range of matters, and if you need to gather more information, it might take longer. It’s up to you.

What issues are mediated during Cooperative Family Mediation?

It is up to the parties to decide which issues they are willing to mediate. However, the following issues are appropriate for mediation:

  • Custody of Children, including physical custody and visitation schedules, participation in extra-curricular activities, transportation, and education.
  • Child Support, including monthly payment and expenses for daycare, healthcare, and extra-curricular activities.
  • Partition of Community Property, including real estate, vehicles, household items, and retirement plans/pensions.
  • Health and life insurance matters.
  • Spousal support.

What does Cooperative Family Mediation cost?

Mediation costs are based on an hourly fee and due at the time of services. The per hour charge is the fee for both of you to attend the mediation session and preparation of the Memorandum of Understanding. It is generally paid equally by the parties but can be divided in accordance to any agreement reached by the parties.

If we have attorneys, do they come to Cooperative Family Mediation?

Cooperative Family mediation can be conducted with or without attorneys present. This is a decision that the parties need to make prior to attending the mediation so that the mediator and both parties can be prepared.If you choose to participate in family mediation without attorneys present, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney prior to the mediation so that you may obtain any legal advice and information you may need to negotiate. If attorneys are not present, any agreement reached during the mediation will not be final until after the parties have an opportunity to review the agreement with an attorney.

How do I prepare for Cooperative Family Mediation?

Talk to your attorney prior to the mediation regarding the matters at issue in your case. Write down a list of issues that are important to you. Gather documents that provide the information relevant to the decisions that you may have to make during mediation which can include school schedules, extra-curricular activities schedules, financial information. Be prepared to listen during the mediation and consider different ways to reach and or revise your goals.

Family Mediation FAQs

Civil Mediation FAQs

What kinds of cases can be mediated?

Most civil disputes can be mediated, including but not limited to those involving personal injury claims; property disputes; contract disputes regarding alleged breaches of contract, desired contract revisions, early terminations and other contract disputes; and work place matters including discrimination and disparate treatment claims; termination/separation of employment; workplace condition claims; labor disputes; and other employment issues.

How long does Civil Mediation take?

The length of time spent in a mediation session varies depending on many factors including the type of case, number of parties, and status of the legal proceeding. However, most cases can be resolved in one mediation session lasting between 4-10 hours.

As Civil Mediation is non-binding, if a settlement is reached, is it enforceable?

Yes. A signed settlement agreement is as enforceable as any other contractual agreement. Louisiana Revised Statute 9:4111(A) specifically provides that “If, as a result of a mediation, the parties agree to settle and execute a written agreement disposing of the dispute, the agreement is enforceable as any other transaction or compromise.”

What evidence should be brought to the mediation?

Although mediation should not be used as a discovery tool by either party, it is often most helpful to bring documents and other evidence to the mediation for use during the private caucuses with the mediator. These items can be shared with the other side during the mediation session through the mediator if it is determined it may help the settlement process.

What happens if we don’t settle?

If the mediator determines the parties are at an “impasse,” the mediation will end and the parties are able to pursue their claims in several ways. The parties can continue negotiations directly or through their counsel, they can reschedule another mediation session, or they can proceed with the discovery process and ultimately to trial. Although facts learned during a mediation session may later be obtained in standard discovery practices, evidence of anything said by either party during the mediation is not admissible at a trial, should there ever be one, as mediation is a strictly confidential process. The mediator is prohibited by law from disclosing information to anyone – including the judge assigned to the case.