Parent's Guide

Letter From Administrative Judge of the Family Court of the 25th Judicial Circuit

Dear Court Litigant:

You have a case in our court. During this time in your life, you have a number of decisions to make about your future. I would like you to know that our court would like to help make this process as easy as possible for you. Going to court is often an expensive and unpleasant way to resolve disputes. In order to help you resolve your disputes in other ways, we provide alternative dispute resolution programs. You may voluntarily participate in any one of these programs, or the court may order you to participate in one before going to trial. This is not to avoid trying cases, but to ensure the parties are given the opportunity and tools to resolve the issues to their mutual satisfaction.

Sometimes, your attorney may negotiate with the other party’s attorney directly. You may also have a neutral third party (a mediator) help both sides with reaching a resolution to all or some of the disputes in the case. We also provide a unique program in which two special masters evaluate your issues after hearing briefly from both sides, and make recommendations. These other ways help people find solutions that are mutually acceptable. You can speak with your attorney, if you have one, about these options to decide whether any of these options are right for you. There are many reasons you may want to try resolving your dispute without going to trial:

You will directly participate in finding solutions;
You probably will be able to resolve your dispute sooner;
It may be much less expensive;
You will end the process with better relationships and less conflict; and
You will likely find it less stressful than court hearings.

Our circuit has more alternative programs available for the resolution of your case than most rural family courts in the country. I urge you to become knowledgeable about these programs by visiting our website, familycourt.us, or by visiting our information kiosk which is located in the Circuit Clerk's office in each county in our Circuit.
It is to your benefit to consider opportunities to reduce conflict and reduce expenses incurred in the court process. Many people spend time, effort, and money attempting to obtain satisfaction by prolonging the dispute with the other party, but this does not guarantee either party will be fully satisfied with the outcome.

Yours very truly,
Ronda L. Cortesini
Family Court Administrative Judge
25th Judicial Circuit

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