All Things Family Law

Discussion of all things related to family law from an Indiana divorce attorney.

This blog provides general family law and divorce law information. If you have a specific issue or case you need assistance with please contact me directly. 

Mediation Rules Amended - Clarifies Mediator's Role and Duties

Today the Supreme Court published orders amending a variety of rules. Notably, the mediation rules for family law mediators were amended, effective January 1, 2010.

The Rule amendment squarely deals with a mediator's role in the preparation and review of documents:

(F) Mediator’s Preparation and Filing of Documents in Domestic Relations Cases
At the request and with the permission of all parties in a domestic relations case, an
attorney registered under ADR Rule 2.5(B) (Attorney Mediator) or a non-attorney registered
under ADR Rule 2.5(B)(2)(b) (Non-Attorney Mediator) working under the supervision of an
Attorney Mediator, may prepare or assist in the preparation of documents as set forth in this
paragraph (F).
The Mediator shall inform an unrepresented party that he or she may have an attorney of
his or her choosing (1) be present at the mediation and/or (2) review any documents prepared
during the mediation. The Mediator shall also review each document drafted during mediation
with any unrepresented parties. During the review the Mediator shall explain to unrepresented
parties that they should not view or rely on language in documents prepared by the Mediator as
legal advice. When the document(s) are finalized to the parties’ and any counsel’s satisfaction,
and at the request and with the permission of all parties and any counsel, the Mediator may also
tender to the court the documents listed below when the mediator’s report is filed.

Additionally, the mediator may prepare or assist in the preparation of only the following documents:

(1) A written mediated agreement reflecting the parties’ actual agreement,
with or without the caption in the case and “so ordered” language for the judge presiding
over the parties’ case;
(2) An order approving a mediated agreement, with the caption in the case, so
long as the order is in the form of a document that has been adopted or accepted by the
court in which the document is to be filed;
(3) A summary decree of dissolution, with the caption in the case, so long as
the decree is in the form of a document that has been adopted or accepted by the court in
which the document is to be filed and the summary decree reflects the terms of the
mediated agreement;
(4) A verified waiver of final hearing, with the caption in the case, so long as
the waiver is in the form of a document that has been adopted or accepted by the court in
which the document is to be filed;
(5) A child support calculation, including a child support worksheet and any
other required worksheets pursuant to the Indiana Child Support Guidelines or Parenting
Time Guidelines, so long as the parties are in agreement on all the entries included in the
calculations;
(6) An income withholding order, with the caption in the case, so long as the
order is in the form of a document that has been adopted or accepted by the court in
which the document is to be filed and the order reflects the terms of the mediated
agreement.


The Supreme Court also amended the appellate rules to encourge more appellate mediation. Appellate mediation has not been frequently used in family law matters. This may change.

The review or transmission of information at this site is not legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.   All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Should you be seeking legal advice, I recommend you retain an attorney. Please contact me  here.