Family Law Mediation

Authored By: Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) LSC Funded


What is mediation?

Mediation is a way to solve your problems. Getting a divorce or dealing with family issues can be hard. Mediation can help solve your disagreement.

What happens in mediation?

You and the other person will meet with the mediator. You will talk about your disagreement. The meetings will last about 90 minutes. Most people meet one to three times.

The mediator will help write an agreement. Mediators can help people write a parenting plan or another agreement.

After the meetings each person can have an attorney look at their agreement. Then it can be given to a judge for approval.

If you and the other person cannot solve any problems, then mediation will stop. Then either person can file papers in court to have the judge make the decisions.

What does a mediator do?

A person called a mediator runs the meeting. Mediators help people figure out their problems. Mediators will help to build better agreements, parenting plans and relationships.

The mediator keeps the meeting private. A mediator does not take sides. Mediators are fair. Mediators help create agreements that you can live with.

A mediator does NOT…

  • Testify in court.
  • Make decisions for you.
  • Blame anyone.
  • Pick a side.
  • Give legal advice.

Is mediation right for me?

Mediation might be right for you if you can say yes to more than two questions below.)

1. Are both people willing to try mediation?

2. Do you and the other person want to make your own


3. Will you and the other person sign the MLSA agreement to mediate?

How much will it cost?

MLSA helps people of low income. If you qualify for services, then mediation could be free.

Will I need an attorney?

No. Attorneys are not required.

Can I bring my attorney?

Yes. Your attorney can come to mediation if the other person has their attorney come too.

MLSA may be able to provide an attorney for you. We can only provide attorneys to low income clients. Our attorneys take on many cases, so we can't promise one.

Need more information about family law mediation? Or want to become a volunteer mediator?

Call our Helena office. If you are calling long distance please dial 800-666-6124 extension 35. If you are calling from the Helena area please call 406-442-9830 extension 35. MLSA mediation staff will help you with questions or concerns.


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