Divorce can be stressful, even under the best of circumstances. When there is a chance for cooperation, however, our attorneys offer the option of divorce mediation.
In Virginia, mediation is offered by the judicial system as a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process. If the parties are interested in mediation, the court will suspend any procedural deadlines and refer the case to a certified mediator.
Unlike a judge, the mediator referred to a divorce case will not issue an order or impose a solution. Instead, the mediator works to identify areas of agreement and facilitate communication in areas of disagreement. The discussions with the mediator are generally confidential, and the parties always have the option of ending the mediation and resuming the pending divorce case.
Any settlement generated by the mediation may be presented to the court for approval. Of course, the parties may not be able to resolve all of the divorce issues in mediation, such as child custody and visitation, spousal support, and/or marital property division. Yet even a narrowing of the issues in mediation may save the parties time and money.
Although mediation is confidential and takes place outside of the courtroom, it is important to have legal representation. Clients that have their attorneys present during mediation may take peace of mind in knowing that they are making informed decisions.
Our family law firm has conducted many mediation proceedings on site, and one of our attorneys has been a certified mediator since 2005. Our attorneys will work to protect your best interests and help you obtain outcomes that serve your unique family circumstances.
Source: “Virginia’s Judicial System,” copyright 2016, Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia