What is mediation? Is it ordered for victims of abuse?
Mediation is a process where both parents work with a qualified neutral person (a mediator) who, without providing legal advice, assists the parents in reaching an agreement regarding custody and or/ visitation. A mediator may identify issues and options, assist the parties or their attorneys in exploring what they want/need from a custody order, and, upon request, the mediator can write down terms that the parties agree upon.1
If a judge orders mediation, s/he will choose the mediator.2 The judge can order the parents to attend up to two mediation sessions to start; and up to two more sessions may be ordered if the judge and mediator agree that it is needed.3
If you can show the court that you or your child has been physically or sexually abused, and that mediation would be inappropriate because of this, the court is not supposed to order mediation.4
1 MD Rule §§ 9-205; 17-102(d)
2 MD Rule § 9-205(b)(1)(B),(b)(3)
3 MD Rule § 9-205(c)(1)
4 MD Rule § 9-205(b)(2)