"God gave us two ears and one mouth with which we may choose to listen twice as much as we speak. Mediation provides an opportunity to listen and an opportunity to be heard."

--Cheryl Watson Smith, mediator

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process in which a trained, neutral, mediator facilitates communication between the parties by providing each with an opportunity to listen and to be heard. Without deciding the issues, without providing legal advice, and without imposing a solution on the parties, the Mediator may enable the parties to acknowledge and understand each others underlying needs and interests and assist them in reaching an agreement. In Virginia, the mediation process is voluntary and confidential.

Advantages of Mediation

  • Effective. More than 80% of all cases reach an agreement on some or all issues.
  • May Save Time and Money. Parties are in control of their decisions.
  • Greater Compliance. Parties are more likely to abide by an agreement that they help design.
  • Voluntary with Parties in Control of the Outcome. Parties volunteer to mediate and contribute to reaching final agreements acceptable to all.
  • Decreases Stress and Disruptions. Mediation sessions are coordinated with your busy schedules. For efficiency, each meeting follows an agenda with the mediator facilitating the process.
  • Preserves or Improves Relationships. This is especially important with family cases where the parties may have on-going dealings with each other or with children or other family members.
  • Private and Confidential. Generally, interaction during mediation is confidential, encouraging an honest discussion of facts, views and feelings. The resulting agreement is not confidential.
  • Improves Skills for Resolving Future Disputes. An important goal of mediation is modeling problem-solving tools and skills, which parties may use should disputes arise in the future.

Resources

A Consumer Guide  Click Here

Basics of Mediation Click Here

Basic Guidelines for a Successful Mediation Click Here


Legal Information

Divorce in Virginia Click Here

Children & Divorce in Virginia Click Here

Financial Issues in Divorce in Virginia   Click Here