The Use of Mediation in Domestic Violence Injunction Cases
When evaluating domestic violence claims, courts have the option of referring a case to mediation, where the parties can attempt to reach an out-of-court agreement on injunction-related issues. This type of alternative dispute resolution tends to take a significant amount of pressure off of the parties involved, while also ensuring that they retain as much control over their lives as possible. To learn more about the alternative dispute resolution methods that could benefit you during your own domestic violence proceedings, please contact our experienced Seminole domestic violence attorneys today.
Referring the Parties to Mediation
Once a person has filed a petition for a domestic violence injunction, the court will hold a hearing at which it will be tasked with deciding whether:
- Domestic violence occurred; or
- An imminent danger of domestic violence exists.
In the event that a court decides to issue a domestic violence injunction, it has the option of referring the parties to mediation. This is only possible, however, if both individuals consent to the proceedings. If consent is given, mediation sessions will be overseen by a certified family mediator. Furthermore, these sessions need not take place in person, as mediators can use alternate formats, including video conferences or ask the parties to come in at different times or on different days.
Issues Addressed During Mediation
If ordered to attend mediation, the parties, with the help of a neutral third party, will be tasked with helping the parties grapple with the details of a number of related issues, including:
- Whether the respondent will be allowed to have contact with the petitioner, and if so, under what circumstances;
- Whether one of the parties will have exclusive use of a shared residence, and if so, for what length of time;
- Whether one of the parties will be granted temporary custody of the couple’s children;
- Whether the respondent will be granted temporary visitation and whether those visits will be supervised;
- Whether child support or alimony will be ordered on a temporary basis; and
- Any other matters or protective measures deemed necessary by the court.
If two parties are able to reach an agreement on these issues, they must record the agreement in writing and present it to the court. The information included can also be presented as evidence under oath at the injunction hearing. If approved, the terms of the agreement will be incorporated into the court’s final judgment.
An Experienced Seminole Domestic Violence Lawyer
Mediation can help respondents play a more active role in domestic violence proceedings, allowing them to have more input in discussions regarding child custody, support, and spousal maintenance. Having legal representation during mediation proceedings is critical to ensuring that your own interests are protected after being accused of domestic violence, so if you were recently notified of a pending domestic violence hearing, please call experienced Seminole domestic violence lawyer Justin Reep at Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff. You can reach us by calling our office at 727-330-6502 or by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org today.