Can Mediation Save You?
Mediation is an established process in which a neutral third-party, the mediator, assists people in conflict reach resolution. Unlike courts, where a judge tells the litigants the result, the mediator is a helper and the parties determine the result themselves. Because of this, it is a very empowering process.
In mediation, everyone gets the chance to be heard fully. Parties often complain that they weren’t allowed to tell their complete story in court. This may be due to the court’s time-constraints or the rules of evidence. Mediation doesn’t have these limitations.
The process is very straight-forward. It begins with any necessary screening protocols to be certain that the case is appropriate for mediation. If it is, the parties will sign an Agreement to Mediate and the mediator then explains what mediation is and how it will go forward. The parties establish ground rules, as necessary, at that time. The parties then take turns discussing the issues that they want to resolve. The mediator can provide suggestions, if asked, and can provide legal information, but not legal advice. Legal information could be something like Virginia Child Support Guideline calculations. The parties can consult a lawyer for advice and that lawyer may be present at mediation. There is no requirement for a lawyer to be present, however.
What happens after the mediation?
If the parties resolve all, or some, of their issues, then the mediator can prepare a Mediated Agreement for them to sign. A separate lawyer can draft the agreement instead if the parties so choose. The parties can use the Agreement in a final divorce hearing. It also can form the basis for a custody or other court order. It is a legally-enforceable contract as soon as the parties sign it.
Attorney/mediators who mediate your case aren’t allowed to finalize the divorce in court for either party. If you think that you already have agreed on everything, then you probably need a consultation about drafting a Property Settlement Agreement. Commander Law can help you with drafting your agreement as well.
Mediation takes as much time as the parties need. Parties are often able to settle all matters in the two-hour session.
Mediation has a very high rate of success. It also is user-friendly and enables parties to avoid the expense and conflict of the courtroom. This is especially important in family law cases in which the parties may still have to deal with each other long after the court proceedings have ended.
The bottom line is that mediation can save:
- Emotional wear and tear, &
If you want mediation to save you any or all of these, contact Commander Law to schedule a session today!