Real Advantages to South Carolina Family Court Mediation
Divorce and disputes involving children and families are difficult for even the strongest and most resourceful people. While divorce and family mediation is not a painless process, we can help make it easier.
Divorce mediation can be an effective, efficient alternative to contested litigation in certain cases. In many family law matters, such as divorce and custody disputes, most people will have continuing relationships with the other person or people involved. Our goal is to try and preserve these relationships, despite the disagreement, so that families can continue to work together even after divorce. Family Court mediation can also lead to disputes being resolved more quickly and at a lower cost than traditional contested litigation.
Our Summerville divorce mediator will work with both parties to help you craft a fair, sustainable, cost-effective solution to your Family Court problem. Family Court mediation is designed to help parties tailor a legal solution that fits their family's individual needs, including divorce, custody, visitation, child support, alimony, property and debt division, and more. We serve the entire Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester county areas.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF DIVORCE MEDIATION
"Mediation is the radical notion that people can make their own decisions."
Save Money and Time
Efficient, Effective Resolution
In certain cases, parties can save thousands (vs. traditional litigation) by mediating contested Family Court issues early on. Mediation is already mandatory in South Carolina Family Court cases before a trial can be scheduled. This usually takes place after settlement negotiations have been attempted without success. Having a competent divorce mediator guide you through a process of effective communication and agreement building can help you achieve the goal of settlement productively, which can translate to thousands saved in litigation fees and costs. Your Summerville Family Court mediator will help guide your discussions and minimize your distractions, keeping you both negotiating effectively and efficiently. The more productive your discussions, the less time it takes and the less cost to you.
Mediation can help you end your case months or years earlier than contested litigation. You can even mediate prior to separating.
Studies have shown that people who reach mediated agreements are more likely to "stick to them," reducing the risk of parties attempting to modify or change parts of the agreement in the future. Our goal is to help you build a durable, enforceable settlement agreement tailored to your family's specific needs, and to help keep you out of Court down the road.
Perhaps most importantly, mediation can help you bring a measure of peace back to your life and your children's lives much sooner than contested litigation- and that's something you can't put a price on.
You Make the Decisions
Empowering Yourself with Lower-Cost Family Court Mediation
In divorce and family mediation, the parties make their own decisions, with the help of a mediator. The mediator is not a judge or an arbitrator, and she cannot order either party to do anything. This means that the parties need not relinquish control of major life decisions to a Judge (who does not know your family) and eliminates the serious uncertainty of not knowing how a Judge might decide your case. This also allows parties to reach more creative agreements (vs. solutions imposed by a Judge) that are tailored to your family. Studies have shown that mediated agreements have a higher rate of compliance than Court-imposed solutions, perhaps because the parties are more invested in outcomes that they choose for themselves. Because Family Court mediation is private and confidential, personal issues can also be addressed more candidly.
You make the decisions that impact your children and finances- not a third party.
If mediation is successful, you know the outcome. You eliminate the uncertainly that comes from a Judge making your major life decisions.
You can decide together to end your case now. Getting to trial can take months or years of expensive litigation.
Your Children Can Benefit
Improve Relationships and Say Goodbye with Dignity
Many separating or separated parents who have poor communication skills or who struggle with high conflict are surprised at how successful mediation can be. Your divorce and family mediator is trained to help you settle your disputes despite the anger and conflict that naturally accompanies these situations. By nature, mediation involves cooperative problem solving, a skill that parties can continue to use in their day-to-day interactions. A reduction in conflict can improve your overall relationship with the other parent, which studies have shown is beneficial to children.
Mediation doesn't treat parents as either best friends or as adversaries - instead, parents are problem solvers.
A mediated agreement can also be tailored to the specific needs of your family, in a way that a Judge-imposed solution cannot. This can be especially useful for families with special needs children or unique circumstances, such as military families or long-distance parenting plans.
May be more willingness to co-parent
Reduced time spent in litigation
Greater likelihood of future compliance with the agreement (child support and parenting time issues may be reduced)
Private and Confidential- But Preserves Your Options
You Can Still Go to Court (If You Need To)
Confidentiality in mediation allows discussion of settlement options, of personal history, and even emotions- kindness, appreciation, anger, hurt, and regret - without risk of this information being used against you in Court. Your private matter can remain private, while still allowing you to explore all of your options. All discussions with your divorce mediator are privileged and confidential. Your Summerville mediator cannot be made to testify in Court about what happened at mediation. Notes, offers, proposals, and written and oral communications cannot be shared outside of mediation. Both parties are free to explore options without fear that your efforts will be used against you in the event of litigation. If mediation doesn't work, both parties are still free to go to Court. If you already have a case started, the mediator will issue a Mediation Report to the Court that should allow you to proceed with trial. This report will not divulge confidential information.
With the potential exception of the Mediator's Report and the agreement itself (should you proceed with Court approval) your private matters can remain private. [Note however, that any threats of harm or attempts to inflict physical harm made during mediation are not confidential].
Normally, Court proceedings are public record.