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.
Divorce mediation is a process that allows you to work cooperatively to resolve issues raised in separation and divorce for the benefit of their family. 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 your control, and not within the control of a judge or another person. A successful mediation can provide the foundation for future effective communication between the parties. Therefore, mediation is especially useful in cases involving children. Remember parents have an ongoing parental relationship regardless of the status of their marital relationship.
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, to provide ideas for problem solving, 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 are encouraged to 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.
Because mediation is a confidential process you are able to express your position with confidence that what you say will remain private. With limited exceptions, 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.
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 be no less than 1 hour. Many cases are concluded in several sessions; the total number of sessions required depends on the parties, the complexity of the issues, and the ability of the parties to compromise and make decisions.
The parties equally share the mediation fee and it is payable at the time of the sessions and prior to the drafting of the agreement. While in litigation, the parties each pay their own counsel. As a result, the overall cost of mediation is often less than any other method of conflict resolution.
The role of counsel is to advise you. Many mediation participants choose to attend without counsel. However, your counsel may attend the sessions with you if you so choose. You are encouraged to have the mediated agreement reviewed by your counsel prior to signing it. Upon request, drafts of the agreements will be forwarded by the mediator directly to counsel.
It's tempting to want to have all of your conflict and emotional struggle behind you. That will happen as soon as it can happen. But emotional readiness is one factor that affects the speed at which mediation can proceed. Remember, just because you are ready for change and closure, the other mediation party may not be as emotionally ready as you are. Both parties need to be ready to move forward. When each is ready that is when mediation will be successful. Therefore, be prepared to let the process happen - the timing of some of it is out of your control. When you can accept that fact, you will find the process to be very productive.