I have a summons to appear at court for mediation regarding my two young children. They're father is requesting unsupervised visitations. Currently my brother supervises the visits and goes with the childrens father and our children when he sees them. Would it be okay to bring a statement from my brother, stating what he has observed at the visits and conversations he and my brother has had regarding the children? Do I need the statement to be notarized? Also, I have messages from the childrens grandfather stating he has heard his son is a full time drug dealer. Can I use the messages as evidence of allegations from his own father? Thank you.
Mandatory custody mediation is an opportunity to resolve parenting issues without having to go before a judge. You are free to bring whatever information you feel is relevant. You can bring a statement from your brother. Having it notarized is confirmation that your brother was the person who signed the statement, but it does not prove the truth of the statement. It is likely that you will need to have your brother testify before the judge when the matter goes to court. The role of the mediator is to try to facilitate an agreement. If no settlement is reached. your matter will be scheduled before the judge.
Mandatory mediation, especially in family law settings, is used to resolve matters that the parties can agree to without taking up time before the Judge if the issues can be resolved. From your message, it seems like you are not likely to reach a resolution.
Mediation is a voluntary process in which the mediator will try to help you reach an agreement regarding your situation. You can bring the items that you describe, however you don't have to persuade a mediator. That being said, it may help the mediator discuss options with the father if the mediator can share with him what will likely be the evidence against his request at trial. His father's statements are not likely to be admissible at trial because he is trying to testify about what other people told him. That is hearsay and not admissible.
In order to prepare for your mediation, you should also consider possible solutions. Even if they are outside the box. For example, he could have unsupervised visitation as long as he stays at a certain play area, mall, restaurant, etc. Maybe he could have unsupervised visitation upon passing a hair follicle drug test. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers to a mediation. Mediation gives you the opportunity to avoid a drawn-out court proceeding and reach an agreement without "bloodshed" that usually occurs in a courtroom in these situations. It may very well be that mediation allows you to protect your children and still allow their father some unsupervised time with them; if it's appropriate.
Good luck to you.
If you found my response helpful, please mark it as "Helpful" or "Best." Although Avvo makes it clear to consumers that attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship, some attorneys prefer to add their own disclaimers to answers. You can set your custom disclaimer here and it will be automatically added to your answers. Do NOT include any direct solicitations or contact information.
Yes you can show the mediator your brother's statement. I think it should be notarized. Ultimately, the mediator's job is to resolve the case so the more evidence you can bring to the table, the better. Understand that the mediator may consider the fact that your brother is your brother and therefore give him a bit less credibility so if you can show, through independent witnesses the same facts, that might be more helpful. Good luck!
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline