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Alaska Information About Mediation Form

Information about Mediation.pdf This form explains the mediation process for an Alaska divorce.Download

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Mediation ?	
Answers to frequently 
asked questions	
Published by The Alaska Court System

What is mediation?	Mediation is an informal way to resolve disagreements.  A neutral person, 
the mediator, helps those involved:
• determine the important issues in a disagreement,
• explain and understand each others' needs,
• clear up misunderstandings,
• explore creative solutions,
• reach acceptable agreements.
The mediator does not tell people what to do or make judgments about 
who’s right or wrong. The decision-making stays with you.	Why use mediation?	People choose mediation for many reasons - some of  them are:
• Mediation can be less confrontational than dealing with the issues 
in litigation or in front of  a judge.
• Mediation offers privacy and confi dentiality and provides a 
respectful and cooperative environment in which to make 
important decisions.
• Mediation can save time and money.	What can be mediated?	Just about anything can be mediated when people are open to solutions. 
Some issues that are well suited for mediation are:
• Co-parenting plans for children, (includes time sharing, 
communication and making decisions about the children),
• Property and debt division in divorce cases,
• Disputes in small claims cases,
• Concerns in Child in Need of  Aid cases,
• Concerns in adult guardianship and conservatorship cases. 
It’s up to those involved to decide what issues to mediate.	
Can we mediate before we fi le a court case?	Ye s. In fact, many people avoid a contested case by going to mediation 
before fi ling a case with the courts.
For example, a husband and wife planning a divorce might use mediation 
to discuss the division of  their property or a parenting plan for their 
children. If  agreements can be reached on all issues a dissolution can be 
fi led instead of  a contested divorce. 
In another example, parents needing to modify a custody or support 
order from years ago may engage in mediation before fi ling a Motion to 
Modify. This may help to reduce family stress and bring about a faster 
resolution than could be reached in an extended court battle.	If  we have a court case open, does the judge 
need to know we are also in mediation?	Ye s. The judge may then be able to give you time to work through the 
mediation process before setting a trial date.	Is what we say in mediation confi dential?	Civil Rule 100 and Probate Rule 4.5 state that mediation discussions 
are confi dential when the court orders mediation. This allows open and 
honest communication without worrying that what you say will be used 
against you later.
If  mediation is not ordered by the court it still may be confi dential. Most 
mediators have a written confi dentiality agreement that is signed before 
starting mediation. An explanation of  the confi dentiality agreement 
should be given by the mediator, including any limits on confi dentiality.

How long does mediation take?	It can take from one hour to many hours - one session to several. It 
depends on:
• the number of  issues to mediate,
• how much you disagree
• how open you are to try to work things out,
• your emotions,
• how well you can communicate.	What if  one or both of  us have attorneys?	Mediation can still occur, but a decision will have to be made as to 
whether the attorney(s) will attend.
Legal advice before or after a mediation session can be very valuable in 
understanding your legal rights and responsibilities and in developing 
options for settlement. If  you are representing yourself  in the court case, 
talking with a lawyer about the agreements you are reaching in mediation 
is worth considering.	What happens when an agreement is reached 
in mediation?	The agreement is written down and signed by everyone involved. 
If  you have a lawyer, ask the lawyer how this will be handled. Once the 
agreement is written and signed, the lawyer will fi le it in court for the 
judge to fi nalize if  it involves a court case.
If  you do not have a lawyer, ask the mediator how this will be handled. 
Once the agreement is written and signed, you will need to decide who is 
responsible for fi ling the agreement if  it involves a court case.	
What happens if  we don’t reach agreement?	Even if  mediation doesn’t immediately settle all the issues in a case, it can 
help focus the parties on the issues and may aid in settlement of  the case 
later. Mediation may move your case more effi ciently through the court 
by narrowing the issues of  disagreement and prioritizing your goals. 	Should we mediate if  there’s been domestic 
violence between us? 	Mediation may not be appropriate when there has been domestic 
violence between you and another person in the case. 
If  you are considering mediation with a person who controls or attempts 
to control you through force, intimidation or the threat of  violence, you 
should request a private session to discuss this with the mediator. 
If  you are a victim of  domestic violence, you cannot be required to 
participate in mediation if  you do not want to. Mediation in cases 
involving domestic violence must be provided by a mediator who is 
trained in the dynamics of  domestic violence to protect your safety 
and the safety of  your household members. As a victim of  domestic 
violence, you are entitled to bring a support person or advocate to the 
mediation, including a lawyer. (See Alaska Statutes Sections 25.20.110 and 
25.20.080). 	What does mediation cost?	Mediators charge different rates. Ask the mediator what he or she 
Some courts offer mediation for certain cases at little or no cost. Contact 
your local court to see if  these services are available.

How do we get into mediation?	If  you have an open court case, there are two ways:
1.  You can agree with the other side to mediate, or
2.  You can ask the judge to order mediation.
You usually choose your own mediator and pay him or her.  Or, in those 
courts that offer mediation programs for certain cases, you will need to 
follow the local procedure to sign up.  Contact your local court to learn 
If  you do not have a court case, you simply choose a mediator and make 
arrangements with him or her.	How do we fi nd and choose a mediator?	Unless you are participating in a court sponsored program, call around 
and talk to mediators until you fi nd someone you want to work with.
Please note that in Alaska, anyone can act as a mediator. There are no 
state standards or licensing requirements. Mediator education, training, 
experience and style vary. It is up to those involved to decide what they 
need in a mediator and to select the mediator with the necessary skills 
and approach. To help parties choose a qualifi ed mediator, the Alaska 
Judicial Council publishes a free guide to selecting a qualifi ed mediator:  
Consumer Guide to Selecting a Mediator.
Other resources to help fi nd a mediator: 
• The Alaska Dispute Settlement Association (ADSA) maintains a 
directory of  mediators on their website. 
• The Alaska Directory of  Attorneys provides a list of  mediators 
under the “Alternative Dispute Resolution” tab. The directory is 
available at many public libraries in Alaska.
• The Association for Confl ict Resolution has a mediator referral 
service on its website.
• Check your local phone book yellow pages listings under 
For more information about this publication, please call the
Alaska Court System Administrative Offi ce at
(907) 264-8240
820 West Fourth Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
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If you're represented by an attorney, your attorney may request a prehearing conference. A lawyer ought to be able to answer any questions regarding confidentiality. You and your lawyer should be ready to talk about all relevant issues in your case. Before the mediation session, you and your lawyer should talk about the mediation procedure and understand it's confidential. Attorneys, litigants and judges that are contemplating alternative dispute resolution may want to have more information regarding the numerous processes, how they work and the way to choose among them. Also, all Alaska courts utilize the exact same standard set of divorce forms. Do not forget that mediation isn't enjoy a court hearing.

For kids under age two, non-enforceable agreements are permitted provided that the kind of contact doesn't include visitation. Mediations may alter in length from 1 hour to a lot of hours. Unlike a judge, the mediator won't make a determination in your case.

Next: Application for Child Support Services Previous: Alaska Shared Custody Child Support Application Form
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