The State of Wisconsin has enacted legislation which establishes a mediation service for parents who are involved in family court matters. Through this program, individuals certified with mediation skills are appointed to assist parents in the resolution of issues arising out of their marital relationship. The program was primarily established for the resolution of custody and placement issues. By statute, child support issues are not to be mediated unless both parties sign a premediation agreement which lists child support as an approved issue for discussion. Only properly certified individuals can be appointed by the Court to assist parents in this mediation process.
The Family Court Branch of the Iowa County Circuit Court administers its mediation through the office of the Family Court Commissioner. Those parents needing assistance in the resolution of these issues must be involved in an ongoing pending family court case or have a judgment or order entered in such a case by the Iowa County Circuit Court. At least one of the parties must sign and file an application or request for mediation with the Family Court Commissioner. The standardized application entitled " Request for Mediation " can be used. The request does not have to be submitted on the standardized form, but the request must ask for mediation and must include the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the parties as well as a signature of one of the parties and the date signed. E-mail and facsimile requests are not acceptable.
Once a request for mediation has been received by the Family Court Commissioner, a date and time for the mediation will be established with one of the mediators and notices will be mailed out to the parties by regular mail. Attendance at the mediation session is mandatory and mediations will only be rescheduled with the approval of the mediator.
If the parties reach an agreement, the terms of the agreement are put in writing and are established as the order of the Court after the agreement has been approved by the Judge. If no agreement is reached, the Family Court Commissioner notifies the Court that one or both of the parties have the right to start a court action in an effort to get a decision from the Judge.
Iowa County will pay $100.00 of the fees for the first mediation session. Any amounts charged by the mediator over $100.00 are usually split equally between the parties.
If you or someone you know needs further information concerning the Iowa County Circuit Court Mediation Service, contact the Iowa County Family Court Commissioner as follows:
Timothy B. McKinley
Iowa County Family Court Commissioner
209 North Iowa Street, P.O. Box 169
Dodgeville, Wisconsin 53533-0169