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If you have a pending small claims or general civil case in court and are not represented by a lawyer, you can still try to resolve your matter through a local dispute resolution center. Click for more information.​

Upcoming Trainings ​​

For more information on these trainings and to view a full training calendar, click here.

ONLINE - August 8, 2021 - 8-Hour Advanced Mediator Training, hosted by Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan​

ONLINE - August 10 & 11, 2021 - 8-Hour Advanced Mediator Training, hosted by Oakland Mediation Center​

ONLINE - September 22, 23, 24, 27 & 28, 2021 - General Civil Mediation Training, hosted by Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan

ONLINE - October 8 & 9, 2021 - Advanced Mediator Training, 2021 ADR Section Annual Conference

ONLINE October 19-22, 25-26, 2021 - Domestic Relations Mediation Training, hosted by Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan

ONLINE - October 20 & 21, 2021 - 8-Hour Advanced Mediator Training, hosted by Oakland Mediation Center​

ONLINE - November 1-4, 8-10 & 15-17, 2021 - General Civil Mediator Training, hosted by Oakland Mediation Center​​



The Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) coordinates the alternative dispute resolution services of the State Court Administrative Office. The office's primary purposes include: increasing the awareness of​ dispute resolution options among the legal system's many constituents, helping courts increase dispute resolution options for people using the court system, administering the Community Dispute Resolution Program, and developing and evaluating specialized dispute resolution programs and services.


The office also helps other divisions of the SCAO design collaborative dispute resolution processes, and designs and presents training programs.


ODR administers the legislatively created Comm​unity Dispute Resolution Program (CDRP). This program makes grant funding available to non-profit agencies to provide mediation to people in many types of disputes, whether involving money owed, landlord/tenant matters, and even divorce. Additional services the office provides include: developing training programs and materials​, publishing reports and public education materials, and program evaluation. Additional information about several specialized services follows:


Child Protection Mediation

​Child protection cases are typically initiated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and frequently involve temporarily removing children from their home so that parents can make adjustments in their parenting skills so that the children can be safely returned.  Quite a few people can be involved in a single case, including: the parents; attorneys for the parents; an attorney for the children; an assistant prosecuting attorney; an MDHHS caseworker; and foster parents.


Mediation provides an opportunity for everyone to develop a plan that will result in the children returning to their home, called a “reunification” plan.  The mediator makes sure everyone has a chance to share what is important to them in safely returning the children home.  Mediation results in agreements in about 80 percent of the cases; the agreements are presented to the judge who typically concerts the agreement into an order. 


This collaborative process is an alternative to the parties appearing at a contested hearing in which, at the conclusion of taking testimony, will determine what the reunification plan will be.


Several evaluations have demonstrated the effectiveness of mediation, and in a video​, various parties in the mediation explain how helpful it is in creating a space for the parents in particular to be closely involved in developing the plan for returning their children home.


Divorce and Parenting Time Mediation

Parents who are unable to afford hiring an attorney and who have few assets can consider mediating the terms of their divorce.  If the parents do not have children, they often are negotiating property, limited assets, and debt.  If the parents do have children, they are routinely also including child support, custody, and parenting time in the mediation.  It is always best to take any agreements reached in mediation to an attorney to have the appropriate court documents drafted and filed with the court.


After a divorced, parents may disagree over how the original order for parenting time and custody is implemented. Sometimes one parent feels they have been denied parenting time. While that parent can file a complaint with the Friend of the Court, another option is to try to reach an agreement with the other parent in mediation that reinstates or increases the parenting time of the non-custodial parent.

Mediation is very effective in resolving parenting time disputes, with parents reaching agreements nearly 75 percent of the time. To learn more about this service, contact one of the Community Dispute Resolution Program centers [link to map] or your local Friend of the Court. The service is supported in part by a federal Department of Human Services Access and Visitation Grant Program. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Office of Dispute Resolution
PO Box 30048
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 373-4839
Fax: (517) 373-5748​​




A New Way to Resolve Disputes Online​