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Can I appeal this decision? I had mediation with my child's mother and she lied, resulting in my losing my daughter.

West Palm Beach, FL |

My daughter has been raised by myself and my parents for her entire life. Today I went to mediation without an attorney, she had one. She lied and it resulted in her obtaining custody of our child. She has not been in her life the entire time, seeing her only 2x's a year since her birth. How can I fight this? I would also be open to meeting with someone who could represent me in a possible appeal. We have so many professionals (doctors and daycares) and family who know she has had nothing to do with our daughter.

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Attorney answers 5


What your question states does not make legal sense. In a mediation, you would have to agree to something, no one in the mediation can "force" you to do anything and she cannot obtain custody of the minor child without your consent in a mediation. It seems like you should meet with an attorney to discuss your case so that the attorney can ascertain what type of proceeding you had and what exactly occurred. If you just went to the mediation today, I would encourage you to obtain an attorney immediately as there may be things that you can do now to remedy the matter rather than having to appeal. Best of luck to you.

Tami L. Augen Rhodes

This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor is it intended as legal advice. I have not reviewed your case nor have I met with you and the answer to this question does not in any manner whatsoever establish an attorney/client relationship.


I agree with counsel. Something here does not make sense. How did her lies force you to sign a mediation agreement? Or did you misspeak?

Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.


I agree with the other posters, something doesn't make sense here. A mediator is a neutral third party, not a decision maker. In mediation, the parties come to an agreement, no one makes a ruling. It is an uphill battle to get out of a mediated agreement unless there are duress, coercion, etc. You need to speak with an attorney.

Legal disclaimer: Ms. Braaten's answer to your question does not establish an attorney client relationship, but rather is meant to share knowledge with the general public. For specific advise on your case, you need to consult one on one with an family law attorney.


Hire an attorney immediately.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq.,


A mediator is an impartial third party, unlike a judge, who attempts to facilitate a settlement between the parties without a trial. It is quite common for a judge to order that the parties go to mediation. However, the mediator cannot force you to do anything against your will. If he or she is unable to settle a matter that fact is reported to the court, nothing more. It appears from your description that you were involved in some sort of adjudicatory hearing in front of a magistrate and not a mediator. I would suggest that you immediately contact an attorney to see if the ruling can be reversed.

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