So you get your day in Court. Or at least the first one. You go before the judge to be heard on a matter of divorce, child custody or some other legal issue. And the judge recommends you look into mediation before pursuing formal litigation.
What happens next?
The judge will refer you to a Court approved provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services – an attorney or group of legal professionals who have met the necessary requirements to help people resolve legal matters outside of the courtroom. The judge can only refer you to an ADR provider approved by the Court. A list of those providers will be made available to you.
More specifically, while the judge cannot order you to pursue mediation over litigation, s/he can order you to seek a free screening from one of those providers.
From there, a few different things can happen.
You can take the list and be on your merry way – but you must contact one of the listed providers to schedule a future screening.
If a preferred provider is in the courthouse at that time, you can work with a courthouse employee to locate that provider. To expedite this process, Why Litigate has a member of its team available to provide mandated screenings two days a week. Therefore, if you want to get things going while you are there, our team member will meet with you.
The free screening takes about 15 minutes. When it is completed, you will have the information you need to decide whether mediation may be the path you wish to pursue.