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Mediation

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Prince William County Divorce Mediation

Virginia Custody and Divorce Mediation: Let Us Put Our Experience to Work for You

For more than 20 years, Farrell & Croft, P.C. has helped spouses through mediation services. Whether serving as your mediator or as your individual counsel, Farrell & Croft, P.C. can help craft an equitable resolution of your family law issues.

Based in Manassas, Virginia, we assist with mediation throughout Prince William County. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions about how we may serve you.

When You and Your Spouse Wish to Use Custody and Divorce Mediation to Resolve Your Divorce Amicably

Divorce mediation is a process that allows divorcing spouses to work cooperatively  to resolve issues raised in separation and divorce for the benefit of their family with the assistance of a mediator. Mediators provide neutral communication facilitation between the parties and encourage problem solving by the parties.  

For those willing to give full disclosure of their financial situation, custody and divorce mediation may be the answer. Mediation empowers you to problem solve and keeps the decision-making within the control of the parties, not a judge or another person. A successful mediation can provide the foundation for effective communication.  And builds a bridge to understanding.  Therefore, mediation is especially useful in cases involving children. Remember parents have an ongoing parental relationship regardless of the status of their marital relationship.

The Mediation Process

When you engage in the custody and divorce mediation process, it is important to note that the mediator is neutral and does not represent either party. The role of the mediator is to facilitate productive communication, to instill decorum and civility, but not to provide legal advice. The successful mediation ends with a signed mediated agreement.  The written agreement is prepared by the mediator.  The parties can have the agreement reviewed by his or her counsel prior to signing.  The role of counsel in a case handled through mediation is straightforward — to provide legal advice and counsel to his or her client.

All mediation sessions require the appearance and participation of both parties. In addition, counsel are welcome to attend but are not required at the mediation sessions. The parties are encouraged to communicate with counsel as the need for clarification of legal rights and legal advice becomes apparent either during the mediation sessions our outside of the mediation sessions. 

Mediation is Confidential

Mediation is a confidential process.  Except within limited facts, no documentation or information obtained solely in mediation is admissible in litigation.  Mediator's notes cannot be subpoenaed in litigation.  Mediators cannot be required to testify at trial or otherwise except in very limited circumstances.

Number and Length of Sessions Varies

The initial session lasts from 1.5 - 2 hours. At the initial session the mediator will get a sense of what the parties are disputing and what the parties have already agreed upon.  Follow-up sessions will vary in length but will generally no less than 1 hour. Many cases are concluded in several sessions; the total number of sessions required depends on the parties and the issues.

The Mediation Fee is Equally Shared by the Parties

The parties equally share the mediation fee and it is payable at the time of the sessions. As a result, the overall cost of mediation is often less than any other method of conflict resolution. Additional deposits are required prior to the drafting of the agreement.

The Role of Counsel in Mediation

Any party may bring his or her counsel to attend the sessions but are not required to do so. Especially important is that both parties will be encouraged to have the agreement reviewed by their counsel prior to signing it. Upon request, drafts of the agreements will be forwarded by the mediator directly to counsel.

What to Bring to Your First Mediation Session ~

Documentation is needed.  Even so, don't delay scheduling because you can't find everything; bring what you can easily gather.  

Be prepared to provide the following at some point:

Completed Financial Disclosure Form.

Documentation related to your identification and the identification of your children:

  • Identification Documentation
  • Social Security Numbers 
  • Driver’s Licenses

Documentation related to your financial situation identifying and providing a current value of:

  • All Financial Assets
  • Bank Accounts
  • Non-Retirement Investment Accounts
  • Retirement Savings Accounts (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc.)
  • Pensions (Military, CSRS, FERS, Private)
  • College Accounts (UTMA, UGMA, 529, etc.)
  • Other Financial Assets

Documentation related to ownership and value of your house(s) and car(s)

  • Significant Property & Related Loan Information (Balance Due & Monthly Payment)
  • House and Other Real Estate
  • Cars, Boats, and Other Licensed or Titled Property
  • Other Significant Property
  • Do Not Inventory Your Household Property and Furnishings but do make note of items of particular sentimental or other value to you.

Documentation related to your financial liabilities (what you owe)

  • Credit Cards
  • Financing Arrangements
  • Braces
  • Furniture
  • Computers/TV
  • Appliances
  • Outstanding Unreimbursed Medical Expenses
  • Student Loans
  • Loans from Friends or Family
  • Other Loans or Financial Obligations

Documentation related to your income:

  • All Salary, Wages and Other Forms of Compensation
  • Recent Pay Stubs
  • Employment Agreement
  • Stock Options Plan
  • Bonus Schedule
  • Commission Schedule
  • Deferred Compensation
  • Other

Documentation related to your Life Insurance coverage:

  • Insurance
  • Life
  • Death Benefit Amount
  • Beneficiary
  • Term or Other (Whole, Universal, etc.)
  • If Other, Cash Value
  • Copy of Policy

Documentation related to your Health Insurance:

  • Health, Dental & Vision
  • Cost of Current Coverage
  • Cost of Same Coverage for “Employee Only” and for “Employee plus Children” (may be the same as Family Plan)

Tax Returns:

  • Taxes
  • Copy of Most Recent Tax Returns
  • W-2s
  • 1099s
  • Knowledge of Current Year Tax Status
  • Estimated Tax Payments
  • Past Due Taxes

 

Training & Qualifications

Catherine S. Croft, Professional Mediator

  • Rappahannock Mediation Center 1993
    Basic MediationTraining
    Family and Divorce Mediation Training
  • Over 20 years as a practicing domestic relations lawyer. 
  • Skilled in drafting separation agreements, marital agreements, custody and support agreements
  • History of successful mediations
  • Enthusiasm for the mediation process

Kathleen L. Farrell, Professional Mediator

  • Rappahannock Mediation Center 1993
    Basic Mediation Training
    Family and Divorce Mediation Training
  • Over 20 years as a practicing domestic relations lawyer
  • Appointed by the Circuit Court of Fairfax as a Neutral Case Evaluator
  • Skilled in drafting separation agreements, marital agreements, custody and support agreements

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