A justice of the peace is a judicial officer who is not a police officer, yet who has a responsibility to uphold the peace. Justices of the peace often have duties such as hearing minor civil cases, dealing with minor criminal complaints, and upholding the peace in other significant ways.
Divorce mediation is a method of divorce in which a couple tries to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement agreement with the help of a mediator. It is a frequently used as an alternative to the formal process of a divorce court. The mediator is a neutral third party that is hired by the divorcing couple to help them resolve important issues such as property distribution and child custody.
In the United States, couples that are getting a divorce can opt for either the formal process of a divorce court or choose mediation. The mediator only helps the parties develop a mutually acceptable divorce settlement; it is not the mediator’s job to resolve issues between the parties or to force an agreement upon them. The parties can approach the mediator either directly or through their attorneys. After the mediation process ends and the agreement is drafted, it is submitted to the court for approval. If the judge agrees with the settlement, it becomes part of the official divorce decree after the dissolution of the marriage.