Help for Dads

Help for Dads

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 3.28.34 PMI was so excited to read the first article in the African-American Fathers Series! I commend The Stand for highlighting the black dads of the South Side, many of whom are involved in their children’s lives — or want to be.

I am the Family Court Mediator for Onondaga County.

My employer, New Justice Conflict Resolution Services, is a not-for-profit agency sponsored by the Office of Court Administration and the United Way and has an office located at the Onondaga County Courthouse at 401 Montgomery St., Room 115. Walk-ins are welcome. Families can come to resolve custody and visitation disputes. Our services are free of charge, confidential and can help parents avoid litigating in court, which can be costly, intrusive and time-intensive. Mediation can be used to create or modify custody and visitation orders.

The first article in the Fatherhood Series mentions a number of local dads who have legal questions or want to nurture a positive relationship with their child’s mother. As a neutral mediator, I can help with that.

Our agency is authorized to facilitate the resolution of disputes, prior to court involvement, through the process of mediation. At the mediation conference, each party is asked to present his or her side. All areas of disagreement are discussed and possible solutions are examined.

After all parties have reached a mutually satisfying agreement, the mediator documents
the agreement in writing. A copy is given to all parties and an original is filed in Onondaga County Family Court so that a judge or court attorney referee can make it into a legally binding court order. Mediation agreements are not required to be filed with the court — some families prefer informal agreements instead of court orders.

I can be reached 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (315) 671-2047.

 

 

Staci Dennis-Taylor
South Side resident and Family Court Mediator