Is a mediation agreement signed by both parents in the presence of the mediator but not processed through the courts enforceable

Asked about 1 year ago - Macon, GA

Mother and Father have joint physical & legal custody with an existing parenting agreement and custody order in place. The parenting agreement calls for mediation in the event of a disagreement between parents. Prior to the school year both Mother and Father met with a mediator and were able to agree to change one visitation day from Tuesday (part of original court ordered visitation) to Thursday to accomodate the child's extra-curicular activities. The new schedule has been in effect the entire school year, however now that a holiday falls on the visitation day awarded during mediation (Thursday) Parent A refuses to let Parent B pick up the child on that day. Is the mediation agreement in fact binding? Does Parent A have the right to arbitrarily refuse to allow Parent B this visitation?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Rachel Aliza Elovitz

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have a binding contract, unless one or both parties were unable to contract because of some legal incapacity (which is not suggested by your post). However, you do not state whether a modification action was filed, whether the mediated agreement was filed with the Court, whether the parties requested that the agreement be made the Order of the Court, and whether a modification Order was entered. It does not appear from your post that any of that was done. If not, then your ex's failure to comply with the new terms is not a violation of any Court Order and the his or her failure to comply with the agreed upon terms will not subject him or her to the contempt powers of the Court. You should see a family law attorney about your next steps. If you cannot afford an attorney, call your local Bar Association:

    Bar Association: Macon Bar Association
    Address: P.O. Box 123 Macon, GA 31202-0123
    Attorney Referral: See website.
    Phone: (478) 752-3511

    Best to you.

    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as nor does it constitute legal advice.... more
  2. Daniel Ellis Rice

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . So long as the mediator was registered with the State of Georgia as a bona fide mediator, and neither party was unable to lawfully enter into whatever agreement was reached at the mediation session, the allegedly non-breaching party would be permitted to seek enforcement of the agreement with the court, possibly through a motion to enforce agreement. The facts stated are not clear as to whether there was an underlying court case that is now finalized and as part of the order that court entered the parties were required to enter into mediation, or if a case is still pending & the parties are mediating to try resolving outstanding issues in the case. Depending on the specific facts of your situation, in addition to possibly seeking enforcement of the mediated agreement, there may also be grounds for initiating a contempt and/or modification action. I advise speaking with a family law attorney about this to make sure everything procedurally and substantively is covered. Good luck.

  3. Glen Edward Ashman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While the agreement may be a contract it does not enforce itself. Have your attorney (if you do not have one, get one) file a motion if there is an existing custody case, or file an appropriate custody case is thee is not one.

    ATTORNEY GLEN ASHMAN 404-768-3509 . If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here... more

Related Topics

Child Custody

Child custody involves decisions about who will be responsible for a child, including parental rights, for both married and unmarried parents, and adoptions.

Shared custody

Shared custody is a joint custody arrangement where both parents share decision making and have physical custody of their child for an equal amount of time.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

27,831 answers this week

3,166 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,831 answers this week

3,166 attorneys answering