If you are considering a Virginia divorce mediation, it is wise to be aware of certain state laws and rules that apply to this process.
The Role Of A Virginia Divorce Mediator
A divorce mediator is a professional who has special training and credentials to facilitate an agreement between a separating couple. The operative word there is “facilitate.” A mediator does not control the conversations nor dictate what either spouse has to do. Instead, this professional guides both of them to communicate better with each other and make decisions for themselves, together.
The mediator helps ensure that along the way, the spouses set aside any antagonistic feelings so that they can rationally focus on resolving their relevant issues. It is also the mediator’s role to help the couple understand what is fair and equitable in their decision-making. The mediator is always neutral – he or she does not work for either party not prioritize the rights of one over the other.
At Holcomb Mediation Center, our mediators are additionally equipped with extensive law experience so they can guide you through the legal elements of your divorce. However, note that while acting as mediators, we cannot give legal advice to either party. Doing so would run counter to our principle of fairness, and it is also prohibited by Virginia law. We can only provide guidance that impartially benefits both you and your spouse, but not act as lawyers who are building a case.
Likewise, we cannot represent either party in court, even after the mediation is over. You and your spouse both have the right to hire your respective legal counsel while mediation is in progress, but typically, attorneys are not included in mediating.
Before You Mediate In Virginia
If your divorce involves child custody issues, you and your spouse may have to take an extra step before you can start mediating. According to Virginia Code Section 20-103, the court has the authority to require parents with custody matters to attend a seminar or class about those matters. This seminar – and possibly further classes – must be completed before either spouse can participate in mediation.
How Much Does Virginia Divorce Mediation Cost?
In Virginia, divorce mediation costs absolutely nothing if it was ordered by a judge. Our Commonwealth has a special fund to shoulder mediation costs, with the help of the federal Department of Justice. This encourages divorcing couples to consider mediation first instead of litigation, not only for their own savings but also for the state’s. Divorce litigation is also costly and time-consuming for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
If you and your spouse voluntarily choose mediation without a court order, you will have to cover the costs yourself. However, these expenses will still be relatively smaller. A safe range would be from $300 to $350 per hour with a mediator, and this expense will be shared between you and your spouse.
Hampton Roads Divorce Mediators
With Holcomb Mediation Center, you can expect an efficient and competent mediation process. We are dedicated professionals who will work hard to save you time and money, and above all, help you and your spouse achieve the best post-divorce situation. And since we are not just certified mediators but also practicing attorneys, we can make our legal experience work to your and your spouse’s advantage.
Trust Holcomb Mediation Center to mediate divorce issues such as contested divorce, marital settlements, co-parenting, spousal support (alimony), child custody, visitation, military divorce, grandparents’ rights, property division, and marital debt division.
Get In Touch With Holcomb Law Today
Let’s talk about how we can help you, your spouse, and your children. Give us a call at (757) 509-7832. We have offices in Yorktown, Hampton, Virginia Beach, and Newport News, and we serve the rest of Virginia.