Fast Track


Information for Divorcing Parents and Attorneys

Mediation, Parents are Forever brochure
PDF file Parents are Forever 

Los Padres de Familia son Para Siempre, Mediacion de Familia
PDF file Los Padres de Familia son Para Siempre, Mediacion de Familia



Find an eligible
Family Mediator in Alabama

The Goal of Family Mediation
: Placing Children First
Video from the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts.

Free Divorce & Family Mediation Program
Parenting, Divorce and Post-Divorce Issues

The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Inc., offers a FREE family mediation program to help families with children fashion a parenting plan for the judge. The Center will pay the cost of specially trained mediators to support the process. 

Find an eligible Family Mediator in Alabama

About the program:  The Parents are Forever Family Mediation Program is a collaborative effort of the Supreme Court of Alabama and the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, the administrator. 

This program makes it possible for parents with children who are divorcing or separating and have a family income of less than $60,000 to work with a mediator at no cost.  The Center pays the mediators. 

Mediators will help parents toward the goal of a parenting plan and a financial plan to take care of the children.  Parents will always remain parents to their children and focusing on future provision and reduced conflict is so important.  Thirty nine Alabama counties now participate.  Judges order parties into the program.

Sample order of Referral to Mediation (Word) 
Sample order of Referral to Mediation (pdf) 


Court Year October 2015 –September 2016
170 mediations, 117 with agreements
Average Family income: $39,433;
Children benefited: 262
Pro bono time given by mediators:  189.30 hours;  

Judges in twenty seven counties sent cases:  Jefferson, Coffee, Geneva, Lawrence, Walker, Lauderdale, Dallas, Tuscaloosa, Lee, Morgan, Houston, Dale, Autauga, Elmore, Morgan, Russell, St. Clair, Tallapoosa, Franklin, Butler, Montgomery, Pike, Madison, Bibb, Lawrence, Baldwin, Chilton.

October 2016-December 2016
23 mediations, 18 agreements
Average Family Income: $45,360
Children benefited:  40
Pro bono time given by mediators:  37.55 hours

January-March 2017
22 mediation, 14 agreements
Average family income: $40.808
Children benefited: 32
Pro bono time given by mediators:  31 hours

This program is making a difference for Alabama families.

Is your county participating?

As of March 2017:

Find an eligible
Family Mediator in Alabama

For more information on our Family Mediation Program,
contact the Center.


What is Family Mediation?

Family mediation is a process where an impartial third person, the mediator, helps people negotiate with one another to resolve issues relating to parenting, divorce, or issues that arise after a divorce.

The mediator can:

The Goal of Family Mediation
: Placing Children First - view this video from the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts.


Why use Mediation for Parenting, Divorce, and Post Divorce Issues?

Mediation has many advantages that
litigation does not have.

• In mediation, parties keep control over the outcome and solutions. They are familiar with issues unique to their family. Parents are able to focus on the needs of their children.

• Mediation is confidential and private.

• Disputes can be settled promptly. Mediation can be scheduled as soon as both parties agree to use mediation, even before legal papers are filed.

• Parties are able to reduce the emotional trauma for the family that divorce litigation can produce.

• Settlement in mediation is entirely voluntary. While the courts may order you to try mediation, either party or the mediator may end mediation at
any time.

• Mediation costs are usually significantly less than trial costs.

• Parties are more likely to comply with voluntary agreements that meet their needs.

What is a Mediator's Role?

The mediator is not a judge and does not render a decision or impose a solution on any party. Rather, the mediator helps those involved to talk to each other, thereby allowing them to resolve the dispute themselves in a way that meets the needs of both parties.


How does Mediation Work?

The mediator meets with the parties/parents in a room that allows for privacy and safety. Parties/parents may elect to bring their attorneys with them, and this is often advisable. After a brief description of the process, ground rules are set, confidentiality is explained, and parties are asked to sign a paper saying they agree to mediate. Parents may work toward creating a plan for parenting, and the parties may discuss assets, debts and spousal support.

Through mediation, parties have an opportunity to tailor a plan specifically suited to their needs and the needs of their children. The mediator will usually meet privately with each party to explore more fully the facts and needs of the parties. This gives the participants the opportunity to communicate to the mediator their real interests as well as to vent anger or frustration outside the presence of the opposing party.

When authorized by a party, the mediator will communicate ideas and proposals to the other party so that agreement can be reached. The agreement is then written down and signed by the parties.



Guide - The American Bar Association offers a guide, Preparing for Family Mediation, on their website, to assist parties in preparing for mediation to help ensure a successful experience. Download a copy at - A free, confidential, and interactive website for divorcing and divorced parents. - The Alabama Healthy Marriage & Relationship Education Initiative, or "AHMREI", (former name, Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative, or "ACHMI") is a partnership between Auburn University, Family Resource Centers, Mental Health Centers, and many other agencies and individuals at the State and Local levels who have joined together to build and sustain healthy relationships and stable marriages throughout Alabama. - Bonus Families® is the only international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence between divorced or separated parents and their combined families. Our goal? We’re here to support YOU.

family   family   family   family

Find a Family Mediator

Our state court roster contains the names of Family Mediators who have met the Mediation Registration Standards and Procedures adopted September 18,1998 and who have registered with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, Inc.

Find a Family Mediator


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