Description of Family Court Mediation

In many South Carolina counties mediation is required in a contested family court matter.  A contested case means that there are issues (no matter how big or small) that you and your spouse do not agree on.

Mediation is an opportunity for you and your spouse to resolve the case yourselves without as much court intervention.  In the long run, cases seem to be resolved more successfully because the people who know the most about the case and who have the most invested in the outcome of the case (you and your spouse) are the ones who are deciding how things will be resolved.

Typically, mediation begins with you and your attorney in one room and your spouse and his/her attorney in a separate room.  The mediator is typically another attorney, though they do not have to be, who has been trained by the South Carolina Bar in Family Court mediation.  The mediator will explain the process and their role and a few rules about mediation.  After these introductions with both parties, the mediator will begin discussing the specifics of the case with each party.

The mediator’s job is not to make any decisions or to tell you or your spouse that they are wrong and should do what you want them to do.  The mediator’s job is to help you and your spouse understand what is at stake and to help you find some common ground on the issues.

The hopeful outcome of your mediation will be a complete agreement.  However, if you are not able to resolve all issues in your case but you are able to resolve some your mediation will still have been a success because you will have eliminated some of the contested issues resulting in less court time required for the trial of your case and lower attorney fees.

Good luck mediating your case!

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