Avoiding litigation in divorce, child custody and other family law disputes can protect your privacy and your pocketbook. Mediation can be an effective method of resolving conflict in divorce negotiations. Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process providing parties an informal opportunity to resolve or learn how to effectively manage disputes.
As a mediator, I do not represent either side. Instead, I am a neutral evaluator, explaining to each of you the law in Virginia, while at the same time working with both of you to reach an amicable settlement. If you are at a crossroads on one or more issues regarding your divorce but do not wish to spend the time, money and emotion for litigation, mediation has several advantages:
Less Expensive: Typically, both spouses share the expense of mediation.
You have Control: The alternative to mediation is litigation. In litigation you essentially have no control as to when, how and what happens. The lawyers present the evidence and the judge decides. No matter how expertly your case was presented, you are still leaving the decision of your precious kids and your property in the hands of a stranger. In mediation you retain complete control over the entire process. You and your spouse are the ultimate decision makers. There is no third party judging and ruling on your family dynamic. As a mediator it is my role to educate both of you on your strengths and weaknesses and to forge an understanding that you both can live with going forward.
Agreement drafted: As a lawyer and a mediator I can not only help the two of you reach an agreement on the issues involved but also I can draft the agreement reflecting the understanding the two of you have come to. If you go to a non-attorney mediator, which is typical, you pay for the mediation services and then each of you must hire an attorney to draft, in writing, the verbal agreement the two of you reach in the final mediation session. I eliminate the need for multiple attorneys. If I mediate the agreement between you and your spouse, I draft the agreement right then and there for you and your spouse to sign.
Your Rights are Still Preserved: If the two of you cannot come to an agreement on the issues you mediate, you lose nothing. Both of you have the right to file an action in court and let the court decide issues of disagreement.
Less Adversarial: In mediation, both parties are encouraged to recognize the positive in the other person and to find common ground for agreement. In litigation, each party must try to prove negative things about the other in order to achieve a positive outcome at all costs. If the spouses will continue to be in contact with each other after the divorce, through their own wishes or through parenting activities, all attempts should be made to preserve the most amiable relationship possible.
My law firm focuses on your family. Contact me at my Vienna, Virginia, law office to discuss your case. I am always happy to speak with you.