Family court mediation is a process in which a divorcing couple or two parents work together, with the assistance of a neutral Certified Family Court Mediator, to reach a negotiated resolution to their legal issues. Parents and couples who participate in mediation are given an opportunity to take control over their family court issues prior to leaving the ultimate resolution in the hands of a judge, who often has a crowded docket and only a very short window of time to hear evidence and make a decision in a contested hearing. Divorcing couples and parents can mediate together with their choice of mediator, or can participate in mediation with their respective attorneys and the mediator. The mediator serves as a completely neutral third party who assists the couple or parents in reaching a resolution, rather than unliterally deciding what the resolution should be on their behalf.
Mediation can be conducted at any point during a disagreement between two parents or spouses. Many families choose to participate in mediation prior to ever filing a family court lawsuit, in an effort to reach a negotiated resolution without any court involvement whatsoever. If two people are successful in reaching an agreement in mediation prior to the scheduling of a hearing, they will never have to participate in a contested hearing in South Carolina, or ever step foot into a courtroom in North Carolina.
In all family court cases filed in South Carolina, participation in mediation is required prior to the case being scheduled for trial. In all child custody and equitable distribution cases filed in North Carolina, participation in mediation is required prior to the case being scheduled for trial. Given the fact that participation in mediation is often inevitable in both states, it frequently benefits parents or couples to immediately submit their issues to mediation prior to initiating litigation in order to give negotiated resolution a shot before commencing the often expensive and emotionally taxing litigation process.
There are countless benefits of mediation in family law cases. As parents, mediation gives you the opportunity to sit down together and craft a resolution (such as a parenting time schedule or a child support arrangement) that you can mutually agree is in the best interests of your children without having to spend countless dollars and hours in litigation. Mediation often saves people time, money, and their emotional sanity. Mediation also spares families from the court system, where emotions and tensions run high, and where highly damaging words are spoken out loud and destructive accusations are forever etched into the public record. Litigated trials often create great rifts in families which can destroy co-parenting relationships and trust between parents for long periods of time, if not forever.
Lindsey Dasher is a Certified Family Court Mediator in the state of South Carolina. She is a compassionate, thorough mediator who cares deeply about helping people to resolve their family law disputes outside of court and to protect their children from the impact of litigation. Lindsey conducts mediation for parents and couples who are unrepresented by attorneys, as well as parents and couples who are represented by attorneys. Lindsey offers full day or half day mediations at a reasonable hourly rate.