(a) Establishment.--A court may establish a mediation program for actions brought under this part or Chapter 53 (relating to custody).
(b) Issues subject to mediation.--When a program has been established pursuant to subsection (a), the court may order the parties to attend an orientation session to explain the mediation process. Thereafter, should the parties consent to mediation, the court may order them to mediate such issues as it may specify.
(c) Local rules.--
(1) The court shall adopt local rules for the administration of the mediation program to include rules regarding qualifications of mediators, confidentiality and any other matter deemed appropriate by the court.
(2) The court shall not order an orientation session or mediation in a case where either party or child of either party is or has been a subject of domestic violence or child abuse at any time during the pendency of an action under this part or within 24 months preceding the filing of any action under this part.
(d) Model guidelines.--The Supreme Court shall develop model guidelines for implementation of this section and shall consult with experts on mediation and domestic violence in this Commonwealth in the development thereof. The effective date of this chapter shall not be delayed by virtue of this subsection.
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