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Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services

Court Trustee

11 E. 11th Street, Unit 101 | Lawrence, KS 66044

Tel: 785-832-5315 Fax: 785-838-2408 Email us

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The mission of Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services is to provide children with the opportunity to develop and maintain positive relationships with each of their parents through the development of a mutually acceptable plan for parenting. When parents find themselves sharing a child between two homes the challenges and emotions that occur often result in conflict between the parents. How parents deal with conflict has a profound influence on children. Mediation is one way for parents to resolve these conflicts in a way that allows children to have positive relationships with both parents. 

To request a mediator contact the Trustee’s office at 785-832-5315

Here is a brochure about the Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services, and here are several forms that you might find useful in the Mediation process:

Our Mediators

Our mediators are trained, experienced mediators approved by the Kansas Supreme Court. They have been selected because of their extensive experience with domestic and family issues

Is mediation mandatory?

If you have a contested case involving issues of child custody, parenting schedules and/or parenting rights, mediation is mandatory pursuant to Local Court Rule 11(A)(8). This means you must first attempt mediation prior to setting the case for final hearing. This, however, does not mean the court has ordered the parties to mediate.  It simply means the court will not hear these particular issues until the parties have tried to work out differences through mediation.  If mediation fails, the court will rule on the issues at the final hearing.  If one party refuses to mediate, the other party may seek an order requiring mediation.  If the court enters an order requiring mediation it is mandatory for both parties to attend and participate

If the parties are in agreement regarding issues concerning child custody, parenting schedules and/or parenting rights, the parties may agree to mediate to obtain the assistance of a mediator in drafting their agreement.  

If the issue between the parties concerns enforcement of parenting time, the parties may agree to mediate.  In this instance, the court has entered a previous order concerning parenting time and one party seeks enforcement of that order.  Here, mediation is not mandatory unless the previous order requires it.  If one party will not agree to mediate, the other party may seek an order requiring mediation.

How much does a mediator through Douglas County domestic mediation services cost?

(effective July 1, 2021)

Individual Gross IncomeHourly Fee for Mediation


Fees are per person and are payable at the start of each session.


On average, allow for a one hour individual session and a two hour joint session.

Under $20,000


$20,001 - $35,000


$35,001 - $50,000


$50,001 and above


Additional fees may be assessed for work done by the mediator outside of the mediation session (e.g. developing agreements, conferring with attorneys, etc). Ask your mediator for details.

Department Contacts

Court Trustee

Name Job Title Phone Number Email Address
Mary Elizabeth Diaz District Court Trustee 785-832-5315
John Giele Deputy District Court Trustee - Child Support 785-838-2407
Vera Gannaway Asst. Court Trustee - Child Support 785-838-2406
Karen Taylor Office Manager 785-838-2403
Front Counter Receptionist 785-832-5315
Shelby Davis Paralegal - Child Support 785-838-2404
Jeanice Corbitt Paralegal - Child Support 785-838-2405
Sherry Bernhardt Clerk III - Child Support/Traffic 785-832-5315
Marily Mulingbayan Administrative Assistant - Court Debt/Restitution 785-838-2400
Tamara Bradley Clerk II - Court Debt/Restitution 785-838-2401
Katelynn Tourtillott Part Time Clerk - Court Debt/Restitution 785-838-2414