Relocation decisions often have been appealed in the state of Rhode Island. However, appeals can take an awfully long time. Sometimes, if the court thinks it’s in the best interests of the child to move with the parent, they will not delay their decision. The parent and child will be allowed to leave the state, only to have the appeal heard years later, when it may not be as relevant.
Who Attends A Mediation Session?
Parties have to agree to mediate in order to enter into mediation. The process can take the lawyers out of the room and put an unbiased, skilled, trained, certified mediator in a room with the two parties to try to strike an agreement outside of court. Mediation is a great way to get to these agreements, rather than having a guardian ad litem or a court decide what’s going to happen with the parties’ children.
The family courts highly regard the mediation process. It invites the parties to mediate, and we don’t see a lot of pushback from judges when we request that the parties be allowed to engage in mediation to attempt to come to a resolution, prior to a trial.
Can We Meet With The Mediator Prior To The Mediation Session?
There are different types of mediation in Rhode Island. There is private mediation with a skilled and certified mediator. They are absolutely worth the investment and the parties can access them at any time by mutual agreement. They don’t need attorneys to enter into mediation and they don’t have to have a pending case. Oftentimes, we would recommend that parties do not file anything prior to engaging in mediation and then file for divorce, after resolving their issues without having to pay lawyers to fight over them.
Another kind of mediation is with people who hold themselves out as mediators but might not be certified mediators who have a lot of background with family court. I would give a huge caveat to steer clear of that. Many times, the parties think that they have a mediated agreement that is going to work with respect to all of the issues, but it needs a lot of additional work because that mediator did not have the experience necessary to mediate an agreement that makes sense to a court. Make sure any mediator you consider using is experienced and certified.
The last type of mediation takes place at the court. There are state-employed family court mediators who are highly skilled and certified and whom litigants with pending cases in family court can access through the order of the court. Once a divorce or a motion to relocate or change custody is filed, the parties can access state mediators through the court system, and it can be of tremendous value to resolve cases prior to expensive litigation.
Our senior attorney, Veronica Assalone, is proficient in Spanish, French, German, Italian and American Sign Language. Our office assistant speaks Spanish.
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