What is Divorce Mediation?
- Posted on: Apr 26 2019
Mediation is an alternative to litigation or going to Court. It provides parties with an opportunity to identify issues upon which they disagree and gives them the chance to work together to resolve them.
During mediation, an uninterested third party facilitates communication between divorcing parties in order to reach an agreement. In some cases, parties attend mediation without an attorney. In more complex or difficult cases, however, divorcing parties often attend mediation with their respective attorneys. Even if you choose to attend mediation without counsel, meeting with an attorney prior to the mediation session often provides useful information about your assets, your rights and your financial position. Prior to the mediation session, some mediators request the submission of each party’s position on different issues, while other mediators prefer to have a minimal amount of information prior to getting started.
While all mediators have their own way of conducting a mediation session, the end goal of every mediation is to resolve the issues without litigation. If the parties are able to resolve their issues, then a draft agreement is created. If a resolution cannot be reached, then the parties may agree to meet for another mediation session. You should never sign a mediated agreement without first consulting an attorney to have the attorney review the mediated agreement.
Mediation provides several benefits to parties pursuing divorce, including:
- An opportunity to hear the other side’s position
- An opportunity to be heard
- An opportunity to decide the outcome without court intervention
- Lower costs than traditional litigation
When to mediate
In Virginia, mediation can be beneficial at any stage of a divorce case. At the beginning of a divorce case, mediation can help the parties identify pertinent issues and the specific obstacles preventing an amicable resolution. Parties sometimes use mediation later in a case when negotiations have stalled. Both parties often become more willing to make concessions as the trial date approaches, because trial can be both stressful and expensive.
Regardless of the stage at which divorcing parties pursue mediation, it is a valuable alternative to litigation that all divorcing parties should consider. Even if the parties cannot reach a full resolution, they may be able to narrow the issues to be litigated, lowering the costs and stress of the litigation.
Virginia Family Law Attorneys
Divorce is a complicated matter and mistakes during the process can be costly. If you are considering a divorce in Virginia, contact the experienced Virginia family law attorneys at Walker Jones, PC. Our Warrenton, Virginia, and Washington, Virginia, attorneys are available to handle all of your Northern Virginia family law needs, including mediation, trial, and negotiations concerning all issues of your divorce. At Walker Jones, PC, we will utilize our vast experience and knowledge to vigorously pursue your case both in the courtroom and at the settlement table. If you need family law assistance in Virginia, contact us today to schedule a private consultation.
Posted in: Family Law