iStock_000004625200XSmallMinnesota Parenting Time Expeditors and mediators are similar in many ways, but their roles are unique.  Both assist parents with working out disagreements that stem from custody and visitation issues, but Minnesota Parenting Time Expeditors (PTE) are provided with decision making authority that mediators do not possess.

The first difference between a PTE and a mediator is the method by which these individuals become involved in a case. A PTE is court appointed while a mediator is not. A PTE may be appointed by a Minnesota court over the objection of a party; whereas, a mediator must be mutually agreed upon between the parties.

The length of time a PTE and a mediator spend with the parties is also a significant difference between these two services.  PTEs are appointed for a term of at least one year (or longer) so that they may address ongoing parenting time issues and disputes.  During this period, parents may present issues to the PTE so that they may be resolved in a timely manner.  A mediator works with the parties on a short-term basis.  Although a few mediation sessions may be required to finalize an agreement, once an agreement is reached, the mediator’s role is complete.

PTEs are granted decision-making authority in the case, whereas mediators are not. Although PTEs encourage parents to work together to resolve their disagreements, if the parties cannot agree on a solution, the PTE may render a legally binding decision.  Mediators encourage parties to negotiate and compromise, but if the parties cannot settle their case, the mediator declares an impasse.

Understanding these important differences will help parents prepare for their sessions with these individuals.


The safety of clients, ourselves, and colleagues is our top priority while we remain available to assist you as you navigate the new and uncharted territory caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Offering All Services Virtually

While providing virtual ADR services was not part of our plan, we have made the necessary accommodations to ensure we can continue to serve our clients during these unsettling times. All services are currently available through virtually. We are using Zoom for videoconferencing. We suggest that you download this app to your phone or the program to your computer at


Limited In-Person Services

We have resumed limited in-person services for sessions with 1 or 2 participants scheduled for a maximum of 2 hours. Masks are required in our building and in session. Availability is subject to change based on local regulations and CDC guidelines.


Office Hours

Our office hours remain the same and we remain available by phone and email. The main office number is 952.252.1492. Gabe can be reached via email at


New Clients Welcome

We offer free 1-hour divorce consultations via Zoom. Potential PC and PTE clients are invited to schedule a free 15-minute phone call. Please call 952.252.1492 to set up an appointment. We are here to help!

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all continue to adapt to these rapidly changing and chaotic times. Stay strong, stay resilient, and stay healthy!


Amber Serwat & Gabe Frye
ADR Professional & ADR Assistant

Divorce Mediation & Dispute Resolution Services - Amber Serwat Mediation

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