LRMM 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS (a) Mediation Required. Contested issues in family law cases are subject to mandatory mediation in accordance with this rule. No trial or hearing shall be conducted to resolve any such issue until either (1) the parties have engaged in mediation; or (2) the court has, for good cause, waived the mediation requirement of this rule. Attorneys for the parties may attend mediation proceedings. Mediation proceedings will be completed at least 30 days before trial. (b) Family Law Cases. (1) Family law cases subject to mandatory mediation under this rule are as follows: a. Dissolution or declaration of invalidity of marriage or domestic partnership. b. Legal separation. c. Child custody proceedings involving parents, presumed or putative parents, de facto parents, or non-parents (after a finding adequate cause when required). d. Paternity cases after entry of a judgment determining parentage. e. Proceedings to establish child support or maintenance obligations. f. Proceedings relating to the termination of marriage-like relationships. (2) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, mediation under this rule is not required for the following cases or issues: a. Dependency and termination cases. b. Contempt proceedings regarding compliance with court orders. c. Petitions for Domestic Violence Protection Orders. d. Adoption proceedings. e. Petitions for emancipation of a minor or for change of name. f. Motions to waive the requirements of this rule for good cause. (c) Contested Issues. (1) Contested issues subject to mandatory mediation under this rule include the following: a. Characterization, valuation and/or division of assets and debts. b. Establishment of final parenting plan or residential schedule. c. Modification of a final parenting plan or residential schedule after a finding of adequate cause. d. Modification of a temporary parenting plan or residential schedule. e. Establishment of child support or maintenance (other than initial temporary order). f. Modification of temporary or permanent child support or maintenance order. (2) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, contested issues subject to mandatory mediation under this rule do not include the following: a. Entry of initial temporary support order. b. Entry of initial temporary parenting plan or residential schedule. c. Entry of other initial temporary orders, including restraining orders; orders for the use, possession, disposition or preservation of assets; orders allocating responsibility for debt service; and similar temporary orders. (d) Waiver. On its own motion, or on motion of a party, the court may waive the mediation requirements or time limits of this rule for good cause. Good cause will be presumed in cases where mediation would require a party subjected to domestic violence to meet in close proximity with a perpetrator of that violence. [Adopted May 27, 2012]
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