Court Logo Court Logo
Arizona Superior Court in Pima County

Mediation FAQ

CCFS Home Page Adoptions Court Appointed Special Advocates Dependency RAISE Family Treatment Court Indian Child Welfare Act Court FAQ
Mediation Frequently Asked Questions

Mediators serve as neutral participants who assist parties in having a meaningful, open discussion about the issues impacting the family.  Mediators direct the communication in a way to help people understand each other’s positions and interests as they attempt to resolve problems.  Mediators also assist participants with paperwork, legal documents (e.g., orders and Memorandums of Understanding), and calendaring. 

PCJCC adopted a model of mediation that emphasizes the process between the parties--not settlement of the issues.  Therefore, our mediation sessions are not outcome-driven.  The mediators have professional backgrounds in law, psychology, and/or social work.  They have all had additional training in mediation and in juvenile court rules and practices.  Sessions with the mediators are confidential according to the statute, and mediators will only report agreements or other information with permission of the parties.  (Note: mediators must report safety issues such as threats or new allegations of abuse/neglect.)


●  Talk to your attorney about your case and what reasonable expectations for the session are.
●  Collect and review any certificates, sign-in-sheets, calendars, and any other paperwork related to your case.
●  For most sessions, think about:
        ⚬  What is going well in your case?
        ⚬  What is not going well in your case?
        ⚬  What do you need help with?
        ⚬  What do I want to resolved at the mediation?
●  Write down questions ahead of time.
●  For parenting plans, prepared by:
        ⚬  Taking the Domestic Relations Education Class through Conciliation Court in advance of the session.
        ⚬  Completing the Parenting Plan Worksheet. If you have questions about the worksheet, talk to your DCS Case Specialist or your attorney in advance of the session.

DCS Case Specialist:

●  Bring the case file with you to the session including:
        ⚬  Agency's visits reports.
        ⚬  Drug test records.
        ⚬  Updates from therapy and service providers.
●  Make sure disclosure is up to date and distributed in time for the attorneys to review the information before the session.
●  If issues are brought to your attention, staff them at the appropriate level before the session.
●  If possible, arrange for a decision-maker to be available by phone for the session.
●  Prepare in advance for the mediation (see Preparing for Mediation).
●  Bring necessary documents to the session (certificates, sign-in-sheets, calendars, and any other paperwork related to your case).
●  Arrive Early.
●  Allow enough time for the full session. Plan for child care and make transportation arrangements with the entire time in mind.
●  Eat or drink something before the session so you’re not hungry or thirsty.
●  Come ready to talk openly and honestly.
●  Be specific about your needs and wants.
●  Be flexible – parties rarely get 100% of what they want during mediation, so be prepared to compromise.
●  Be creative in coming up with ways to address and resolve issues.
●  Treat everyone with respect.

Mediation generally includes parties (e.g., parents and case specialists) and their attorneys.  Other people may participate or observe by agreement of the parties depending on the circumstances of the case or type of session.  For example, service providers, Family Drug Court representatives, placement, and other support people may be included in the session.  Please note: The mediator manages the process deciding who is essential to the productivity of the session.

Mediation or a settlement conference can be requested in the courtroom setting.  If the judge and the parties decide mediation is appropriate, the judge will set the session during hearings.

Parties can also request a session through a self-referral. After a party completes the paperwork requesting the session, the mediation office contacts all parties, and if no one objects, will work to schedule the session.  If any party objects, the session is not scheduled and the question of mediation must be addressed in Court.  To get the self-referral form please contact 520-724-4747.