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.
The mediators, even if licensed to practice law in Virginia, cannot serve as an attorney, give legal advice or file papers in court for any party.
Advantages of Mediation
- The mediator cannot provide legal advice or represent either party.
- Each party should consult a settlement-minded attorney, such as a trained Collaborative attorney, to advise them before, during, and after mediation.
- Mediation memorandums or agreements are legal contracts that affect your legal rights and obligations. Each party should consult an attorney before signing.
- The mediator cannot file divorce, custody, support or other actions with the court. Parties will need attorneys to handle court filings or represent themselves (pro se).
"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."