Pitfalls of Family Court Mediation

Looking for information on Clark County family court mediation?

In Clark County, Nevada if you are divorcing with children or going through a custody battle there is a very good chance you will end up at the Family Mediation Center (FMC) to attempt mediation with your ex. While mediation may seem like a nice idea, there are disadvantages to mediating custody and divorce cases especially in Clark County. Understanding the potential pitfalls of mediation should make you better prepared to mediate your case. Consider these pitfalls before attending mediation

Pitfalls of family court mediation

Having an inexperienced family court mediator:

Not all mediators are created equal. Unfortunately, having an inexperienced mediator can cost you time and money as well as lead to terrible results for your mediation. An inexperienced mediator will not understand the issues, will not know how to control the situation and will be ineffective in helping you reach a resolution. If you find that your mediator is inexperienced, you may want to ask for another mediator or perhaps end the mediation altogether. If you decide to try mediation with an experienced mediator, make sure you have properly prepared yourself for mediation, that you know your rights and know what you want to achieve from mediation.

Not having an attorney present at FMC:

In Clark County, FMC does not generally allow attorneys to participate in mediation. As a result, many mediators give legal advice to litigants, even though they are not supposed to. Many times, the legal advice is just dead wrong. If you do not understand the law, or if you feel more comfortable having your attorney present for mediation, simply decline FMC mediation OR ask for a private mediation where your lawyer can be present.

No judge is present:

Part of the litigation process and having events occur before a judge is to ensure that both parties to litigation operate on a level playing field. In mediation, there is no judge present and I have had clients tell me that it felt like a free for all, that they were ganged up on by the mediator or that their ex brought up events that were embarrassing and harassing. Unfortunately, in mediation there are really no rules and without a judge, it is up to the mediator to keep the peace.

Increased Time and Expense In Litigation:

Often times mediation does not work and the parties know it will not work at the outset of their case. In these situations, clients need to be vocal and insist that mediation is a waste of time and money. Otherwise, parties can find themselves having to attend multiple hearings to discuss the results of mediation which ends up delaying the case and costing more in attorney’s fees. Again, if you know that mediation isn’t for you, speak up and save yourself the time and expense of what will likely be a failed mediation.

Even if you reach an agreement in family court mediation your case is not over:

In Clark County, Nevada our mediation center is only able to mediate custody. As a result, many other items such as child support, health insurance and division of assets and debts are not discussed in mediation. This means that even if you can successfully negotiate custody, you will still need to see a judge and pay a lawyer to talk about finances and dividing your assets and debts. Again, this can take additional time and additional money and further delay your case.


In our opinion, despite the pitfalls referenced here, mediation can helpful in some cases. Being properly prepared for mediation is the key. Please consider our other articles on this subject and if you or someone you know needs assistance in their family court case, call us today at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information.

Grab our Free Child Custody Checklistfami


Frequently Asked Questions

What is family court mediation in Clark County, Nevada?

Family court mediation in Clark County is a process where divorcing couples with children or those involved in a custody dispute attempt to resolve their issues through mediation at the Family Mediation Center (FMC) instead of going through lengthy court proceedings. Mediation is facilitated by a neutral third-party mediator.

When is family court mediation used in Clark County?

Mediation is commonly used in Clark County when a couple is divorcing and there are disputes over child custody. It is an alternative to going through contested custody hearings before a judge.

What are some potential pitfalls of family court mediation?

There are several potential pitfalls to be aware of with family court mediation:

  • Having an inexperienced mediator who does not understand all the issues or control the process effectively.

  • Not having an attorney present, since they are generally excluded from FMC mediation sessions.

  • No judge is present to ensure a level playing field between parties.

  • It can increase time and expenses if mediation fails and you have to go through litigation anyway.

  • Mediation may only cover child custody, still requiring court hearings for finances, support, etc.

Should I avoid mediation if I know it won’t work?

Yes, if you strongly believe mediation will be pointless and not lead to an agreement, you should insist that it would be a waste of time and money. Decline FMC mediation or request a private mediation where attorneys can participate.

Can mediators give legal advice during mediation?

No, mediators are not supposed to provide legal advice even though attorneys are generally excluded. However, some mediators still may improperly give legal advice. Get advice from your attorney if you are unsure about anything said.

What should I do if I have an inexperienced mediator?

You can request a different, more experienced mediator. Or, if it is clear the mediation will not be productive, end it and decline future mediation attempts. Make sure you are prepared with knowledge of your rights and goals.

Does reaching a custody agreement in mediation finalize my divorce/custody case?

No, mediation only covers child custody. You will still need court hearings for financial matters like child support, asset division, etc. before your case is completed.

How can I best prepare for productive family court mediation?

Be sure you fully understand your rights and goals. Seek advice from your attorney beforehand. Research and prepare for the process. If needed, ask for accommodations like having a support person present. Stay firm if you believe mediation will not work.

When is mediation not recommended for family court cases?

If there has been domestic violence, power imbalances, or lack of negotiation skills, mediation is often not advised. Consult your attorney on whether mediation seems appropriate or not.


Mediation – A voluntary, confidential dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party helps disputing parties reach an agreement.

Mediator – The neutral third party who facilitates the mediation process between disputing parties.

Family court mediation – Mediation specifically utilized for resolving child custody and divorce disputes.

Clark County – County in Nevada containing Las Vegas, where family court mediation takes place at the Family Mediation Center (FMC).

Family Mediation Center (FMC) – The mediation center in Clark County, Nevada that conducts mediation for child custody and divorce cases.

Litigants – The parties involved in a lawsuit, legal dispute, or family court case undergoing mediation.

Contested custody – Custody disputes between parents that must be resolved through court proceedings and hearings before a judge.

Pitfalls – Potential problems, disadvantages or risks associated with something. In this case, pitfalls of family court mediation.

Domestic violence – Physical, verbal, emotional or psychological abuse between family members or intimate partners. Often makes mediation inappropriate.

Power imbalances – When one party has more power or control over the other in a relationship, impacting the mediation.

Negotiation skills – The ability to calmly discuss disputes and compromise to reach mutually agreeable solutions. Lacking skills can impair mediation.

Additional Resources for You

Here are some other important resources available on your website that readers should be reminded of:

  1. Do You Really Need A Lawyer For Your Family Court Case?: Discover the significance of having legal representation in family court cases. This resource delves into the complexities of family law and highlights the advantages of hiring a skilled attorney to guide you through the legal process.

  2. Pitfalls of Family Court Mediation: Gain insights into the potential challenges and pitfalls that may arise during family court mediation. Explore common issues and receive guidance on successfully navigating the mediation process.

  3. Uncontested Divorce: A Detailed Guide To Help You Get A Fast, Cheap Las Vegas Divorce Now: This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions and valuable insights for individuals seeking an uncontested divorce in Las Vegas. It covers the necessary legal procedures, document preparation, and strategies to achieve a swift and cost-effective divorce.

  4. Family Court Trial: Familiarize yourself with what to expect during a family court trial. This resource explains the trial process, the roles of involved parties, and the presentation of evidence and arguments.

  5. Family Law Legal Relief Program: Explore the assistance available through the Family Law Legal Relief Program for individuals facing family law issues. Learn about the program’s objectives, eligibility criteria, and the types of legal relief it provides to those in need.

  6. The Ultimate Guide to Filing a Motion in Your Family Court Case: This comprehensive guide walks you through the process of filing a motion in a family court case. It covers necessary forms, legal requirements, and strategies for effectively presenting your motion to the court.

  7. Hire an Unbundled Nevada Attorney for Your Family Law Case!: Discover the benefits of engaging an unbundled attorney for your family law case. Understand the concept of unbundled legal services and receive guidance on finding the right attorney to meet your specific needs.

  8. What Happens in Family Court in Nevada?: Gain an understanding of the proceedings and processes that occur in Nevada’s family court system. This resource covers topics such as case management, hearings, mediation, and the role of the judge.

  9. Family Law Attorneys That Accept Payment Plans in Las Vegas: Address financial concerns by exploring family law attorneys in Las Vegas who offer payment plans. Find options for managing the costs of legal representation while still receiving quality services.

  10. Family Law Consultation Fee: Get clarity on your firm’s family law consultation fee policy. Understand the fee structure for initial consultations and any applicable charges for the services provided during the consultation.

  11. Family Law Tips: Access a collection of practical tips and advice for navigating various family law matters. Explore topics such as divorce, child custody, support, property division, and other essential aspects of family law.

We’re ready to fight for the rights of your family!

A Special Message from Our Lead Attorney

Molly Rosenblum, Esq

Are you looking for an experienced family law attorney in Las Vegas?

Look no further than The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm.

Our team of lawyers has extensive experience helping Las Vegas residents just like yourself with issues related to divorce, adoption, child custody and more.

We understand how stressful legal matters can be and will work hard to ensure the best outcome possible in your case.

Plus, we have flexible fees so that any budget can access quality legal assistance!

Don’t wait: Call The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm today at (702) 433-2889and start taking control of your case now!

Sign up for our Newsletter