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Indiana Mediation Law
Question: ASK THE MEDIATOR: What is the new divorce mediation law all about?
Answer: When the dissolution law was recodified by the 1997 legislature, four new mediation sections were added. Three are statewide, and provide that in any dissolution, separation, support, custody or visitation proceeding, at any time the court issues an order (other than ex parte), the judge "shall determine" whether mediation should be required, considering the ability to pay and whether "mediation is appropriate in helping the parties resolve their disputes." IC 31-15-9.4-1, 31-16-6.4-1, and 31-17-2.4-1.
House Bill 1092 also set up a two-year pilot program for Allen County. Beginning on January 1, 1998, Allen County will have a $20 add-on to the $100 divorce filing fee, and establish an ADR fund. Funds will be targeted for tough custody cases, utilizing both attorney-mediators and mental health professional-mediators.
Indiana law establishes a minimum 60-day waiting period after the petition is filed before a divorce can become final. But this 60-day period can be prolonged depending on how long it takes for divorcing spouses to agree to community property division and child custody issues.
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