Are my only choices for deciding child custody the Friend of the Court caseworker, the Friend of the Court referee, or a trial before the judge?

No. Actually, the court now has the power to order people into mediation. Mediation takes place in a conference room (either at one of the attorney’s offices, the mediator’s office, or another location—but usually not the courthouse). A trained mediator presides and attempts to help the parties reach a settlement on one or more of the issues in the case. If the parties cannot reach a settlement, then the matter proceeds to trial.