Family issues are tough.
Emotions. Personal needs. Your childrens’ needs. On-going relationships.
It can feel completely overwhelming.
And if you’re contemplating divorce, you already know how hard it is. Even if you and your spouse have a relatively cooperative relationship, it can feel numbing when you add in the heartache of your dreams falling apart combined with the practical concerns of finding ways to move forward both personally and financially.
But you do have choices.
You have a choice in resolving these questions:
Litigation: Expensive, uncertain and adversarial. You both pay for lawyers to speak for you so that a judge who knows hardly anything about you will decide your parenting and financial fates. And afterwards, the relationship between a spouse or ex-spouse seldom gets better after a knock-down fight in court.
Mediation: A neutral mediator helps you have a conversation about the legal and financial questions that all divorcing couples must face. Even if you have a separate legal adviser, you both speak for yourself and you both pay much less. And importantly, the people who know the most about you and your children make all the decisions: You!
Lawyer or non-lawyer mediator: No mediator can give legal advice while mediating. But mediators can give legal information where it’s appropriate. While non-lawyer mediators can be trained in mediation, they are not trained in the law. The complexities of legal information often cause non-lawyer mediators to be reluctant in providing information. But you need the information to make informed decisions.
Lawyer mediators do not replace your own legal counsel who can give you specific legal advice and exclusively look after your legal interests. A number of participants in mediation will hire their own legal counsel. If you decide to mediate, be sure to ask your mediator about the role your own counsel might have in the process.
Financial advisor or not: Parenting decisions are very important and so is making financially sound decisions. A mediator skilled in financial planning, especially as it relates to divorce issues, can actually save the two of you tax money and help you avoid a property and support plan that looks fine in the short term but is financially disastrous for one or both of you in the long run. Without that training, your mediator will likely suggest that you seek other professionals for anything related to your financial future.
Virginia Certified or not: In order to be certified by the Virginia Supreme Court to receive court-referred cases, successful completion of many hours of classes and co-mediations are required. To mediate private cases, Virginia Certification is not required; anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves a “mediator.” But knowing that your mediator has gone through the training to obtain the certification can add to your comfort and confidence in your mediator.
The Resolution Point Difference: You Don’t Have to Choose
At Resolution Point, you don’t have to choose between mediators who are lawyers or not, certified or not, skilled in financial matters or not. Our mediators Danny Burk and Moné Ardura are:
- Lawyers. Danny is admitted to practice in Virginia and in the District of Columbia. Moné is admitted to practice in Maryland and Massachusetts.
- Certified mediators. Certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia to receive court referrals from the Virginia Juvenile & Domestic Relations, General District and Circuit Courts. Moné and Danny are also certified to mentor mediators-in-training.
- Certified Divorce Financial Analysts™. Credentials awarded by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.
To learn more about the mediation process, view our Mediation Steps.
Our Child & Spousal Support Calculators:
Resolution Point offers remote mediation services at no extra charge when parties can’t be in the same room due to schedules or other conflicts:
- ▪ 4-way phone conference calling
- ▪ Video conferencing
- ▪ Internet connectivity which allows parties to watch everything remotely on their computer screen as it’s happening in our office.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
“As you know, we’d been through nearly two years of marital counseling by the time we reached irreconcilable stage. After the shock and bitterness subsided, we agreed to work together on an amicable separation. Our young daughter deserved nothing but the best from us both as parents, and we thought our best step in that direction was to try mediation. From my first email, you were immediately helpful and informative, showing real interest in addressing my inquiry instead of selling me on your services. During the mediation process, we both felt impressed with your objectiveness, professionalism, as well as a sensitivity to what we were going through on a personal and emotional level. You also tailored your work to match our needs and preferences rather than just following a format template. This gave us a sense of control over this inherently difficult and overwhelming matter. We got through this feeling that we’ll be able look back and each realize a sense of dignity and fairness. This was done in no small way thanks to you. While I don’t wish divorce on anyone, I do recommend divorcing couples look to mediation first, and to make their first call to Danny Burk.”