Paternity Mediation

Are you looking to contain the cost of your paternity proceeding and have more control over the outcome of decisions regarding your child? If yes, then the Mediation Center of the Pacific may be right for you.

To download the Family Court’s paternity forms, visit the Hawaii State Judiciary website by clicking here.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The Mediation Center of the Pacific charges an administrative fee on a sliding scale based on income. Mediation is a 3-hour process and the fee will be assigned to each party when they open a case. The administration fee is charged for each 3-hour mediation session. The Mediation Center of the Pacific is a non-profit community dispute resolution center funded by the Hawaii State Judiciary, Aloha United Way, other State contracts, private foundations, and private donations.

WHAT KIND OF CHILD-RELATED ISSUES ARE HANDLED?

  • Issues related to child custody or visitation such as: how much time the children spend with each parent; how holidays, vacations, and special days will be shared; how transportation will be handled; and how to deal with schedule changes.
  • Issues related to major decisions for the children such as: schooling, extracurricular activities, medical care and religious training.
  • Issues related to communication between the parents.

HOW SOON CAN I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?

Call the Mediation Center of the Pacific’s Client Services Department at 521-6767. Generally, the first mediation session is scheduled within two weeks. However, if you have an upcoming court date, the Client Services Department will strive to schedule the session sooner.

WHEN CAN I MEDIATE?

Mediation sessions are scheduled on Monday through Thursday during the morning, afternoon, or evening, as well as on Friday and Saturday morning. Mediation sessions typically last about 3 hours.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The parties will meet with a team of two co-mediators – a male and a female. Everything said in the mediation session is confidential. If the parties come to an agreement, it is written up in plain language and parties can have it reviewed by their attorneys before signing. If the parties don’t have an attorney, the agreement can be filed at Family Court.

HOW DO I START THE MEDIATION PROCESS?

Call the Mediation Center of the Pacific at 521-6767 and ask for the Client Services Department.

Be prepared to describe the issues you want to talk about and to provide the name and contact phone number of the other parent. The Client Services Department staff will then contact them and ask if they would be willing to come to the Mediation Center for mediation. If both of you agree to mediate, then a mutually agreeable date and time will be scheduled for your mediation session.

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

Mediation is a way for former couples to talk together and work through co-parenting issues with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator. It allows people to work out their own agreements to present to the court rather than waiting for a judge to decide everything at trial.

Mediators do not “take sides,” issue decisions, or promote solutions. Instead, they work with the parties to establish communication and allow the parties themselves to come up with their own ideas, plans, solutions and arrangements for themselves and their children.

Mediation is not counseling, Mediators will not offer legal advice or tell parties what to do in any way. Mediation is often useful even if you have an attorney representing you in your paternity case. In fact, many family law attorneys recommend mediation to their clients and refer them to the Mediation Center.

WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES OF MEDIATION?

Most parties who decide to mediate are able to come to an agreement on at least some or all of their issues. Also, many people believe that mediation works better than the court system in helping parents feel better about each other, and enables them to communicate more effectively, and to work together in the future on issues concerning their children.