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Associated Press, Published August 03 2009

North Dakota divorce mediation project expands

BISMARCK – A pilot project that requires mediation in most divorce cases has expanded and now includes all but 14 North Dakota counties.

The project that began last summer aims to allow divorced or divorcing couples to negotiate the terms of their separation, including custody and support issues.

The latest expansion added western and northeastern portions of the state.

Family Mediation Program administrator Cathy Ferderer says the project has expanded slowly to allow time to get mediators trained, rather than launch across the state all at once.

Officials hope to eventually involve the 14 remaining counties that are in the state’s southeastern corner.

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