Family and Divorce Mediation Serving Arlington and Northern Virginia -- Face to Face or Online
Family mediation helps families solve problems. Mediation is a valuable way to work with families that helps to preserve the dignity of the family unit and avoid adversarial litigation. Mediation is a voluntary, collaborative, and confidential conversation that empowers the parties in a relationship to resolve areas of disagreement with the presence of a neutral third party, the mediator. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions or judgments. The mediator listens to each person’s perspective, facilitates communication between the parties, helps each party to understand the other’s perspective, and focuses on empowering the parties to create mutually agreeable solutions to defined issues and problems. Family mediation services include marriage mediation, divorce mediation, intra-family mediation, and elder decision making.
Marriage mediation often occurs when one spouse wants a divorce and the other spouse wants to stay married. They may or may not have tried couples counseling. They are looking for solutions. We follow the same mediation formula: identify and list the issues, select one issue to discuss, brainstorm solutions, evaluate those solutions, and come to a joint decision on that one issue. Then, the parties will select the next issue to discuss.
Divorce mediationinvolves having a divorcing couple identify issues that are important to their unique situation and prioritize these issues. The identified priorities become the agenda. If the divorcing couple has minor children, often a mediation may begin with crafting a parenting plan together that will include resolution of issues such as custody, parenting schedules, holidays, vacations, and child support. If there are no minor children, a mediation may begin with discussion of how to divide assets and liabilities, how to calculate spousal support if applicable, and what to do about real estate, personal property, taxes, retirement, health and life insurance, and other issues. At the conclusion of mediation, the mediator will draft an agreement that reflects the joint decisions made in mediation. The parties are encouraged to have separate attorneys review the agreement. Once signed by the parties, the agreement becomes an enforceable contract.
Intra-family mediation is a process in which a mediator helps to facilitate conversation between parents, parents and children, siblings, and blended family members.
Eldercare decision making involves having family discussions about aging issues and decisions regarding aging parents, such as whether a parent should live in a retirement home or continue to live on his or her own.