1.) No, children don’t have to go to mediation. (Why put them through that emotional trauma?)

2.) I believe that custody may be worked out at that time. It’s not a necessity, but if an agreement can be reached, yes, it may be worked out.

Is there any reason to go through mediation if you are basically sure that custody can’t be worked out at that time? There are so many issues, and proof will likely be necessary to establish who is telling the truth, etc.

Are witnesses allowed at the mediation hearing, or is it just the mediator, the parents, and the attorneys?

I didn’t go through mediation myself as my husband and I didn’t disagree on much. However, my BF’s attorney has said that mediation involves her attorney and yours, you in one room, her in another. The negotations begin with offer and counteroffer back and forth until an agreement is reached, if one can be reached. No witnesses…there’s no evidence to be given, no legal judgement made. It’s kinda like negotiating a truce. But, that may just be how they had planned to set it up.

In his case, they decided not to pursue mediation because she will not meet his bottom line and he cannot afford what she is demanding, which will leave him several hundred dollars in the hole every month. They are both currently saving up to pay their attorneys for the court battle, which means they may have to remain married for several years.

As far as is it worth going through if you can’t agree…I can’t say. Others have done mediation on this list and may better be able to advise you.

Thank you for your help. You are so fortunate that you and your husband agreed on most everything.
I am unmarried, so divorce is not an issue.

However, my ex bf and I were together for a lot of years.
We have children together, and their physical custody is where we are not agreeing. It’s very complicated, and there are allegations on both sides.

I am very pleased that the children do not have to go through this part. They have already been through way too much, and I’m hoping and praying I get custody and can help them recover from all they have been through.

  1. No, the children should not go to the mediation.
  2. Custody is only decided at the mediation if you and the other parent can reach an agreement.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

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Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

(1)Do the children have to go to the mediation hearing?
(2)Is temporary custody decided at that time?
(even when parents can’t agree and there are a lot of issues?)