Family and Divorce Mediation
The City of Tulsa Municipal Court & The Supreme Court of Oklahoma Administrative Office of the Courts pursuant to the Oklahoma Dispute Resolution Act of 1983 (O.S. Title 12, Sections 1801-1813)
Early Settlement (918) 596-7786
Tulsa City Hall
200 Civic Center, Room 601-L
Tulsa, OK 74103
Director: LeiLani Armstrong, J.D.
Cost: Participants who are parties in a divorce or other family matter in an Oklahoma District Court who can furnish their district court case number do not pay any additional fees for Early Settlement Mediation. Otherwise, a statutory $5.00 processing charge is assessed on each party.
Procedure: Referrals to Early Settlement may be made by an individual, a community member, an attorney or a judge. To initiate a case, Early Settlement will need contact information for each party and their respective attorneys as well as a brief explanation of the situation.
After the case has been referred, Early Settlement will contact the parties to schedule a mandatory intake screening interview with each party individually. In addition, a homework assignment is required which either the participant or his/her attorney may complete. This one page homework assignment lists the issues the parties will be mediating and the property and debts of the parties. AFTER THE SCREENING INTERVIEW HAS BEEN COMPLETED, THE ONE PAGE HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT HAS BEEN TURNED IN AND THE CASE IS DEEMED TO BE APPROPRIATE FOR FAMILY MEDIATION, THE FIRST MEDIATION SESSION IS TYPICALLY SCHEDULED WITHIN 10 21 DAYS. While it may be possible to mediate some cases in one sitting, frequently 2 to 3 sessions are needed. Cases considered not appropriate for mediation include those with a history of domestic violence, mental illness or active substance abuse.
By statute Early Settlement mediation is confidential. Parties do not give up any legal rights by participating, and the parties have control over the outcome of their family situation.
Early Settlement family mediators are specially trained to be facilitative in implementing the mediation process. When a consensus is reached on one or more of the disputed issues involved in the divorce or family matter, a tentative draft called a "memorandum of understanding" is created with input from the parties. The parties are asked to have their respective legal counsel review the memorandum and prepare it in the proper form for presenting to the court, while keeping the spirit of the agreement by the parties intact. In accordance with the Dispute Resolution Acts Code of Conduct for mediators,
Early Settlement family mediators DO NOT give legal advice, discuss the merits of parties legal positions or prepare formal court documents.
Attorney Attendance: Attorney attendance in mediation sessions is optional. In accordance with "Rule10" of the Dispute Resolution Act, the role of the attorney in the mediation process is to assist the client in clarifying issues and to provide them with legal advice and insight, however, attorneys CANNOT interrogate the opposing party during mediation. If an attorney chooses not to attend the session with his/her client, the attorneys role is to be available during, between and/or after the sessions for consultation with the client.