What Can Be Mediated?
The use of mediation allows much of the ill-will and hostility experienced in conflicts to be managed.
This is especially important for people who will continue to have a relationship with each other. By using mediation for a variety of issues – marital and separation disputes, custody, visitation and support issues, landlord/tenant, employer/employee, small claims, and parent/adolescent conflicts – the problems can be solved while allowing the parties to live, work and deal with one another maintaining respect and cooperation. The use of mediation may also make it easier to resolve problems which may arise in the future.
How Does Mediation Work In Court?
Judges and attorneys are recognizing the fact that litigation is not always the best way to resolve conflicts and are encouraging litigants to try alternative methods of dispute resolution. The Court may order parties in a civil case to attend a mediation evaluation session before proceeding with the case. Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judges frequently refer cases to Professional Mediators of Virginia for an orientation and mediation intake session.
When an agreement is reached through mediation, it is recommended that the parties have the agreement reviewed by an attorney to ensure that their rights are being upheld. It may then be submitted to the Court and entered as an order. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case is returned back to Court to be addressed by the judge. If only some of the issues can be resolved, the Court hearing can be limited to those issues on which the parties did not reach resolution. Whether an agreement is reached or not, talking things over with a neutral person can be very helpful.
Disputants who use mediation consistently rate the process more favorably than traditional court litigation. They are also more satisfied with the outcome and more likely to uphold the terms of their agreements.
What Can The Mediators Do For You?
The purpose of the Mediators is to offer disputants an alternative to the Court process. Specifically, the office offers two services:
1. EVALUATIONS FOR COURT CLIENTS: A PM
V Intake Specialist will meet with parties who have an open court case to discuss the issues in dispute and the possibility of mediation. Information discussed in this evaluation is strictly confidential and cannot be used in Court. Participants in this no cost evaluation will receive information about the formal Court process and will have an opportunity to learn about how mediation works in the court system. People who decide they want to try to mediate their case will have an opportunity to be referred to a mediator who is certified by the Judicial Council of Virginia.
2. INFORMATION AND REFERRALS: Parties who have a conflict but have not opened a case in Court may call Professional Mediators of Virginia to learn more about mediation. The PMV contact will provide appropriate informational brochures and a list of certified mediators which shows their specialties, rates, and locations.
Divorce & Family Mediation
Makes settlement of assets and debts in divorce less stressful. It helps define separate lives and new options for the future. It emphasizes children’s need for love and support and helps to maintain good relationships between children and both parents. Typical issues to be addressed are spousal and child support, parental responsibilities, property division and post divorce modifications.
Business & Community Mediation
Can often be used as a quicker, more efficient and less costly process of resolving business problems which might otherwise find their way into court. Typical cases that benefit from mediation might involve contractual disputes, loans/debt questions, landlord/tenant issues, real estate problems, employer/employee relationships, business/consumer conflicts.
Parent & Teen Mediation
Helps families establish guidelines for living together cooperatively and peacefully. It helps alleviate the possibility of escalating stress and further disagreements within families by addressing the underlying issues which contribute to conflicts between parents and their children. It can help resolve issues with parental authority, discipline, friends, allowance, school problems and other family issues.
Anyone from the courts, schools, human service agencies, churches and individuals can learn more about PMV services and mediation or make a referral by simply calling us at 540-854-9732, 9:00am – 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday. You can also email us 24 hours a day at [email protected]