Leesburg Family Mediation Attorney
Find swift, reasonable solutions to divorce, child custody and support
In many family law matters, mediation is a preferred process to resolve disputes and create solutions that are lasting, workable, and meet the needs and interests of all interested parties. Learn more about family law mediation below, and contact Leesburg mediation attorneys Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, to discuss mediating your divorce, child custody dispute or other family law matter in Fairfax or Loudon County.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that offers an attractive alternative to litigation. Instead of the two sides battling it out in front of a judge, the parties come together to jointly work on the outstanding issues in their divorce, such as child custody, spousal support, or equitable distribution. The mediator is specially trained to help the parties work through their differences and serves as a facilitator in bringing the parties together. The mediator will help the parties communicate directly with one another or serve as a conduit for communication between the parties. The mediator doesn’t represent one side or the other but instead is interested in helping the parties reach a resolution that satisfies both sides. The result of a successful mediation is an agreement that gets submitted to the court and incorporated into the final judgment of divorce.
Although mediation might not be appropriate for every couple in every instance, mediation most often offers significant advantages over traditional courtroom litigation of divorce or child custody. Some of the benefits of mediation include:
Mediation is faster – Court dockets are crowded, and it can take many months to get a hearing scheduled on the court’s calendar. The nature of litigation itself is also time-consuming, requiring weeks and months as the lawyers for each side take depositions, submit requests for production of documents, interrogatories and other tools of discovery, research the law and prepare their arguments for the judge. A mediation, on the other hand, can be scheduled as soon as the parties and the mediator can schedule it. The mediation itself may take as little as half a day to a couple of days, depending on the complexity of the issues and the willingness of the parties to work together.
Mediation costs less – Since mediation is a swifter process, the parties incur less fees from their lawyers, as well as saving costs of discovery – depositions, expert witness, etc. The parties typically split the cost of the mediator.
Mediation meets both parties’ needs – In litigation, each side stakes out a position and fights for their side to win. The judge eventually makes a ruling favoring one side over the other. One party “wins,” and the other party “loses.” In mediation, the mediator encourages the parties to put aside opposing positions and instead focus on their interests and needs. Usually, there is a resolution that meets both parties’ needs; the job of the mediator is to help the parties find that common ground. Both sides win, and there are no losers.
Mediated results last longer – Because the parties work together to create a solution that meets their needs, the result is an agreement that both sides are invested in and want to succeed. Litigation often involves endless appeals and multiple trips back to court for modifications and enforcement. Parties who mediate their divorce are more likely to voluntarily and willingly implement its terms.
Mediation is private – Some parties would rather keep their divorce out of the public eye, but once they file in court, the proceedings become a matter of public record. Mediation is a private affair that is not held in open court like a trial, where anyone can attend.
About our Certified Family Law Mediator and Court Conciliator
Kristen Kalina is Certified in Mediation Practice by the Virginia Supreme Court and serves as a Court Appointed Mediator in the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. An accomplished attorney, Kristen has years of experience utilizing numerous mediation formats for a variety of state and federal agencies. When she moved into the practice of family law in 2010, Kristen immediately saw how mediation techniques could effectively resolve disputes in the best interest of children and families.
Peter Schwartz is a volunteer Conciliator for the Fairfax County Circuit Court, where he serves as a neutral, impartial facilitator to help parties resolve their dispute realistically and satisfactorily. Despite his vast experience trying hundreds of cases in litigation, Peter is always eager to help his clients resolve their cases outside of the courtroom through negotiation, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Together, Peter Schwartz and Kristen Kalina are ready and able to serve as your advocate in mediation or otherwise help you find a satisfactory result through the mediation process.
Is Mediation Right for You? Call Our Leesburg Family Law Attorneys for a Case Evaluation Today
Find out if mediation is a good choice to resolve your divorce, child custody dispute or other Fairfax or Loudoun County family law matter. Call Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, in Leesburg at 703-667-0954.