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Family Mediation First Step in Becker County Family Law Cases

Monday, January, 13, 2020

Those involved in family civil law cases will have the opportunity to mediate those disputes before litigation in Becker County now that a program to hire a mediator will be in action.  The goal of the program is to free up court time, save money, and assist familiar in finding an amicable solution to their disputes.


Becker County has received permission from the state to use money from the county’s Law Library to pay for the services, which can be used to resolve issues related to divorce, custody, and parenting rights.  That money comes from the $15 filing fees paid on civil and criminal cases to the library.  Mediation will be provided by the Family Resource Center Inc. in Detroit Lakes.


Currently, the Law Library uses about $35,000 of its $50,000 annual income to pay for updated resources and the salary of the law library, so there is a decent sum of money left over for paying for the mediation services.  The money budged for mediation also includes a chunk to be put toward remodeling costs for an area in the courthouse basement near the Law Library that can now be used for mediation meetings.  That project will not begin for a few months in order to determine first how popular the new service will be for the community.  


The decision to create the mediation program came after a meeting with the head of the Minnesota State Law Library that included a discussion for freeing up court time and money by creating a mediation services program.  Those involved at the state level determined it would be an appropriate use of the Law Library’s funds.