This is about mediation of divorce issues in Maryland, including when and whether mediation is mandatory, who pays for it, and the required credentials for mediators for divorce issues in Maryland.
- Is mediation mandatory? When?
- Who pays for mediation?
- What are the requirements for who can act as mediator?
Is mediation mandatory? When?
The court will usually order custody mediation when there are minor children and residential custody is in issue. Mediation of the financial issues is strongly encouraged by the courts, because about 85% or cases are settled in mediation, but it is not required. You can ask for the court to appoint a mediator, or you can hire a private mediator. Some courts also provide an “attorney-facilitator” to mediate temporary support issues. Mediation will usually not be ordered in cases of domestic violence.
Who pays for mediation?
Custody evaluation ordered by the court is provided free of charge. So is facilitation of temporary support agreements. The fees for court ordered mediation of financial issues are around $150 per hour, and that is normally paid one half each by the parties. If you and your spouse cannot agree on how mediation fees will be paid, the mediator will help you decide that as well.
What are the requirements for who can act as mediator?
There is no restriction in Maryland on who can hold himself or herself out as a divorce mediator, so you will find attorneys, therapists, financial planners and others acting as mediators. Some courts have therapists on staff or panels for custody mediation. Courts may also appoint experienced family lawyers to mediate financial issues such as support and property division.
Other issues in Maryland: