Judges residing on family law cases will often request a motion to that compels mediation. This is done because most family law cases can be settled in mediation and therefore these cases do not have to go through the process of costly hearings and trial.
If a judge does not request mediation, either party can request mediation. This involves either party requesting a motion to compel mediation. If this motion is granted, a judge will sign an Order Compelling Mediation or an Order to Mediate. This document will let the parties know the name of the mediator, how to contact him/her and state a specified date for the meeting.
If the court orders mediation and one party does not comply, a judge can;
Dismiss the case
Reschedule the trial to allow mediation; or
Waive mediation and start the trial.
If a judge has issued the document, but one party does not attend the hearing on the said date, the court has the right to proceed with the trial. The party that did not show up will have to pay the attorney’s fees and mediator fee for the party who did.
The main reason why it is important to start the case with a motion to compel in cases of family and divorce law is because most courts will not proceed with a trial without a prior mediation.