Divorce Mediation Services
Our goal for our family law clients is always mediated settlements. At Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC, we prepare for settlements the same way we prepare for litigation. We identify our clients’ objectives and work with them to set their priorities. When a client is well prepared for mediation, a fair and reasonable settlement is attainable.
Virginia courts offer free mediation services in divorce cases. The mediators are retired Circuit Court judges who have received special training. There is considerable demand for their services. The attorneys must be involved in the process and attend the mediation. Clients should expect to pay for the attorneys’ time.
Private mediators are available, most of whom are also retired circuit court judges who have received special training. Private mediators charge for their time. These retired judges are very effective in bringing people with opposing views to a compromise. The parties in a divorce are not required to use a private mediator.
Understanding The Mediation Process
At the mediation meeting, we start all together in the same room and make a brief presentation. We break out into separate rooms with the clients, and the judge then walks back and forth between the rooms with settlement offers and shares his or her thoughts. The purpose is to bring the case to a conclusion.
Mediation in divorce works best when both parties to the divorce bring an open mind to the settlement process. When parties are willing to compromise, settlement is possible. The most successful mediations are ones where all issues between the parties are resolved and there is nothing left to argue over in court. However, a mediation that does not decide every issue can still be considered a great success. We find that judges are pleased when we can work out issues on our own and just bring the disputed issues before the court.
Even as we prepare for litigation, we continue to look for opportunities for settlement. We want to help our clients get the best solution for their families. If we can do that and avoid a trial, the family and the client are usually better off.