ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT OBLIGATION
05/12/11 Revised 12/02/16 Training Completed 05/26/11
A mediated agreement occurs when a neutral third party, generally a
mediator, assists in trying to help the parties reach an agreeable
resolution. A “mediated agreement” is
the result of mediation and may ONLY be enforced
pursuant to Utah Code Annotated (UCA) 78B-6-207 Minimum procedures for
“(1) A judge or court commissioner may refer to mediation any case for which the Judicial Council and Supreme Court have established a program or procedures. A party may file with the court an objection to the referral which may be granted for good cause.
(2)(a) Unless all parties and the neutral or neutrals agree only parties, their representatives, and the neutral may attend the mediation sessions.
(b) If the mediation session is pursuant to a referral under Subsection 78A-6-108(9), the ADR provider or ADR organization shall notify all parties to the proceeding and any person designated by a party. The ADR provider may notify any person whose rights may be affected by the mediated agreement or who may be able to contribute to the agreement. A party may request notice be provided to a person who is not a party.
(3)(a) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), any settlement agreement between the parties as a result of mediation may be executed in writing, filed with the clerk of the court, and enforceable as a judgment of the court. If the parties stipulate to dismiss the action, any agreement to dismiss shall not be filed with the court.
(b) With regard to mediation affecting any petition filed under Section 78A-6-304 or 78A-6-505:
(i) all settlement agreements and stipulations of the parties shall be filed with the court;
(ii) all timelines, requirements, and procedures described in Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 3, Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Proceedings, and Part 5, Termination of Parental Rights Act, and in Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Child and Family Services, shall be complied with; and
(iii) the parties to the mediation may not agree to a result that could not have been ordered by the court in accordance with the procedures and requirements of Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 3, Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Proceedings and Part 5, Termination of Parental Rights Act, and Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Child and Family Services.”
1. Mediation Agreement – an agreeable resolution between two parties, the non-custodial parent (NCP) and custodial parent (CP) and a neutral third party, generally a mediator. A “mediated agreement” is the result of mediation.
2. Stipulation – an agreement between two parties, the NCP and CP. Stipulations do not involve a neutral third party and are not enforceable without an order. A stipulation does NOT constitute a mediation agreement.
Mediation Agreement Criteria
If the parties, NCP and CP, have an agreement that was signed during a formal mediation to determine child support, it can be enforced by the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) as long as it meets the criteria established in U.C.A. 78B-6-207(3).
“Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), any settlement
agreement between the parties as a result of mediation may
be executed in writing, filed with the clerk of the court, and
enforceable as a judgment of the court. . .“
A mediated agreement must:
1. be written (legible) for purpose of ORS enforcement;
2. signed by both parties, the NCP and CP;
3. have proof of filing with the court; e.g., a stamped civil number on the agreement or a separate piece of paper with a civil number showing that the agreement has been filed with the court.
ORS cannot honor a mediation agreement until the NCP and/or CP provides the office with a legible copy of the signed agreement and proof that the agreement has been filed with the court. Once the appropriate documentation has been received, enforce the mediation agreement, make any necessary changes to ORSIS, and document all actions taken on the case narratives. For procedures and more information on adding or updating an order on ORSIS, refer to the appropriate policy section located in the Payment Processing section of Volume II.
Whenever the parties (NCP and/or CP) have a mediation agreement, coordinate with the Attorney Generals Office (AGO) to determine:
1. if the agreement is valid and meets the criteria set forth by statute;
2. if a medical support order is needed;
3. emancipation issues, as appropriate; and,
4. any other legal issues associated with enforcing the mediation agreement.
Dismissal of the Agreement
If the parties later stipulate to dismiss the mediation agreement, the agreement to dismiss the action does not have to be filed with the court. The NCP and/or CP is responsible to provide the office with a copy of the agreement to dismiss the action. Once a copy of the dismissal agreement is received, make any necessary changes to ORSIS and document all actions taken on the case narrative.