What is Family Court Mediation?

Greenville County is one of several counties in South Carolina that requires all contested family court matters to be mediated.  Many of my clients feel like if they could work out their divorce case with their spouse, they would have already done it and they wouldn’t have needed to spend money for lawyers and other legal stuff related to the litigation.  They feel like the mediation is just a formality that is going to be a waste of their time and money.

As a lawyer I am constantly fighting those thoughts and trying to get my clients to go into mediation with an optimistic outlook about our opportunity to settle their case without the need for further litigation.

Mediation is often referred to by local mediators as the last opportunity for parties to a domestic case to work out the case on their own before the case is set for a trial where the judge is going to determine the outcome.  You may ask, what is so bad about having a judge determine a case?  Well, I guess nothing.  It’s the process that’s bad.  It will take months to have your trial scheduled, then your lawyer is going to spend many hours in preparation for your trial, you are going to have to go through the stress of a trial, not knowing how a judge will rule on many issues, take time off of work and spend lots of money.  Then, the judge, who will have known you for only a few hours at trial will make a decision that will impact you for the rest of your life.  Also, it isn’t the judge’s job to be fair to either party.  It’s the judge’s job to fairly administer the law of South Carolina based upon the facts of the case.  Trial involves a lot of risk.

Mediation is process by which you can work with a trained neutral third-party to attempt to settle your case.  The mediator will try to work with you and your spouse to find common ground among the issues in your case, and help you to balance risks and rewards with the mediation and trial processes. The mediator isn’t a judge and can’t force you to do anything. Mediation typically lasts for several hours, but if successful, can save you and your attorney much more time and definitely a lot of money. In my experience, mediation has helped resolve many of my cases with good results for my clients.

If you’re interested in looking into more information about family court mediation process here are some resources:


  1. Shannon Griffin says:

    I need legal advice and possible representation on a contested no fault divorce, how can I contact you or your office?

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