Settlement negotiations are not admissible as evidence. The court is right to *assume* the parties have tried to reach agreement; however, there are some attorneys that make no effort and, like the courts, abdicate their roles and throw it to a mediator to attempt a resolution. Making settlement offers does not satisfy an order to mediate.
In most all family law cases, mediation is now required before a court will hear the case on its merits. The *availability* of mediation has always been helpful. I believe the *inevitability* of mediation results in more cases getting to that point than would otherwise be necessary. Just my opinion. But it seems you have not gotten to that point. A formal mediation needs to be set up before your trial date.
Set out your goals to present to the mediator before it starts. Mediators are typically family law attorneys or may even be retired judges (your mileage may vary). What is important to know is that they likely know at least as much as the attorneys in the case as to how it will all likely shake out after a trial. So, pay attention.
If no agreement can be reached at mediation, the judge will be made aware.
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