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Mediation Services

Mediation services offered through Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services....

Douglas County Local Court Rule 11(A)(8) provides parties to a contested case involving issues of child custody, parenting schedules and/or parenting rights must attempt to settle the issues through mediation prior to setting the case for final hearing. The court will not set a divorce, annulment, separate maintenance action or post-paternity proceeding involving minor children of the relationship for final hearing until the parents have complied with this rule. The court may waive this requirement for good cause.

The parties may elect to choose either (1) a mutually agreed upon specific private mediator, or (2) a mediator from Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services can be assigned.

The cost of services through Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services is based upon a sliding scale, and each parent pays independently according to their individual income as reflected on a recent pay stub or last child support worksheet filed with the court. This payment schedule stands regardless of prior court orders to equally share costs. Services are paid for prior to the mediation sessions. The mediator meets with each parent individually for one hour, then meets with both parents together for several hours. Additional sessions can be scheduled if needed. More information can be obtained by clicking on the brochure link listed at the bottom of the page.

If the parties choose to use Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services, the court will direct them to the Office of the District Court Trustee to be assigned a mediator. The parties cannot choose a specific mediator as the mediators are assigned on a rotating basis. The Office of the District Court Trustee assigns the mediator and has no other role regarding mediation. Each parent must contact their assigned mediator within 3 days of the court's order.

Pro se parties must prepare an Order for Mediation for the court's signature. If both parties are represented by counsel, the court will direct one of the attorneys to prepare the Order for Mediation.

Post-Divorce and Post-Paternity Action Proceedings

Douglas County Local Court Rule 11(C) provides parties in post-divorce cases involving issues other than enforcing parenting time must meet the mandatory mediation requirements of LCR 11(A)(8). However, parents with enforcement of parenting time issues in post-divorce proceedings may agree between themselves to mediate. Parents may choose either (1) their own specific mediator, or (2) have a mediator assigned through Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services. The court will need to approve any mediated agreement.

A complete list of pro se forms and instructions can be found on the Court Trustee Pro See Forms page.

Department Contacts

Court Trustee

Name Job Title Phone Number Email Address
Mary Elizabeth Diaz District Court Trustee 785-832-5315 mbdiaz@douglascountyks.org
John Giele Deputy District Court Trustee - Child Support 785-838-2407 jgiele@douglascountyks.org
Karen Taylor Office Manager 785-838-2403 ktaylor@douglascountyks.org
Front Counter Receptionist 785-832-5315 trustee@douglascountyks.org
Vera Gannaway Asst. Court Trustee - Child Support 785-838-2406 vgannaway@douglascountyks.org
Debra Pennington Paralegal - Child Support 785-838-2404 dpennington@douglascountyks.org
Jeanice Corbitt Paralegal - Child Support 785-838-2405 jcorbitt@douglascountyks.org
Sherry Bernhardt Clerk II - Child Support 785-832-5315 sbernhardt@douglascountyks.org
Marily Mulingbayan Administrative Assistant - Criminal/Restitution 785-838-2400 mmulingbayan@douglascountyks.org
Shelby Stauch Clerk III - Traffic/Criminal/Restitution 785-838-2401 sstauch@douglascountyks.org
Sofie Schendel Clerk - Criminal/Restitution 785-832-5315 sschendel@douglascountyks.org

Douglas County Local Court Rule 11(A)(8) provides parties to a contested case involving issues of child custody, parenting schedules and/or parenting rights must attempt to settle the issues through mediation prior to setting the case for final hearing. The court will not set a divorce, annulment, separate maintenance action or post-paternity proceeding involving minor children of the relationship for final hearing until the parents have complied with this rule. The court may waive this requirement for good cause.

The parties may elect to choose either (1) a mutually agreed upon specific private mediator, or (2) a mediator from Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services can be assigned.

The cost of services through Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services is based upon a sliding scale, and each parent pays independently according to their individual income as reflected on a recent pay stub or last child support worksheet filed with the court. This payment schedule stands regardless of prior court orders to equally share costs. Services are paid for prior to the mediation sessions. The mediator meets with each parent individually for one hour, then meets with both parents together for several hours. Additional sessions can be scheduled if needed. More information can be obtained by clicking on the brochure link listed at the bottom of the page.

If the parties choose to use Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services, the court will direct them to the Office of the District Court Trustee to be assigned a mediator. The parties cannot choose a specific mediator as the mediators are assigned on a rotating basis. The Office of the District Court Trustee assigns the mediator and has no other role regarding mediation. Each parent must contact their assigned mediator within 3 days of the court's order.

Pro se parties must prepare an Order for Mediation for the court's signature. If both parties are represented by counsel, the court will direct one of the attorneys to prepare the Order for Mediation.

Post-Divorce and Post-Paternity Action Proceedings

Douglas County Local Court Rule 11(C) provides parties in post-divorce cases involving issues other than enforcing parenting time must meet the mandatory mediation requirements of LCR 11(A)(8). However, parents with enforcement of parenting time issues in post-divorce proceedings may agree between themselves to mediate. Parents may choose either (1) their own specific mediator, or (2) have a mediator assigned through Douglas County Domestic Mediation Services. The court will need to approve any mediated agreement.

A complete list of pro se forms and instructions can be found on the Court Trustee Pro See Forms page.