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Your Role in Mediation
You need to decide what your areas of disagreement are, and be willing to listen respectfully to the other side's point of view. You need to work with the other person on determining the best solutons.


Domestic Partnership Mediation is a process for resolving conflicts in which the parties involved in the dissolution of their relationship mutually decide to meet with a trained, impartial mediator to resolve their dispute. The mediators at SDDM are family law attorneys. The mediators do not decide the outcome of the process, but rather help the parties reach their own agreement on issues of custody, support and/or division of property. A Domestic Partnership mediation agreement is reached when both parties are satisfied with all of the terms.

REMEMBER THAT BOTH PARTIES DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE TO THE DISSOLUTION OF THE RELATIONSHIP IN ORDER TO BENEFIT FROM THE MEDIATION PROCESS. If one party is reluctant to proceed with the dissolution of the Non-Marital Relationship at this time, the initial agenda may be to establish interim agreements for a trial separation and a time frame to reconvene to further evaluate the proposed dissolution.

After both parties agree to participate in mediation, the first session can be scheduled within two weeks.

The role of the Non-Marital Relationship mediator is to:
  conduct a process which assists the parties in reaching mutually acceptable solutions;
  provide relevant legal information;
  help parties communicate productively on difficult issues;
  assist in generating options for resolving problems between parties;
  assist in crafting terms of an agreement which is consistent with the principles of justice and fairness; and
  draft the Memorandum of Agreements and file necessary documents in accordance with the wishes of the parties.

Mediation sessions are informal but structured discussions between two parties. Each session is guided by the mediator. Both parties are given the opportunity to speak without interruption so that all issues related to the separation are identified. The mediator structures the discussion to help clarify the issues and assist the parties in moving toward an agreement which is called a Memorandum of Agreements. We recommend that both parties separately consult with attorneys of their own choosing for legal advice regarding any issue addressed at the mediation sessions.


There is a peaceful path to resolution for each person involved in a disagreement. A good mediator helps both parties identify the next step, and assists each person to find the path.

A Good Fit

Interview mediators to find someone who is really right for you -- don't rush yourself or allow someone else to rush you.

The Agenda

Take your time creating an agenda so you are fully prepared. You only have one chance to get things off to a good start!

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