Mediation and Family Law

Experienced Divorce Mediation Professionals Helping Families Move Forward

Mediation creates agreements that work for both parents and their children, without getting divorce attorneys involved

Mediation offers several crucial benefits for both parents and children. Fundamentally, when parents choose to mediate, their children can see that their parents have set aside their anger and hurt to try to work things out. Children learn that cooperation and compromise are better than conflict and revenge. Parents who are willing to talk to one another are also more likely to create custody and visitation agreements that are stable and long-lasting.

Divorce Mediation Associates, Ltd. works with divorcing parents in Northern Virginia and caring, experienced child psychologists to help everyone reach an amicable solution. Mediation helps parents gain control over how their children are raised without leaving the decision, often arbitrary, to a family law judge who does not know you or your family. Our family mediation professionals help to create an agreement that sets forth proper guidance and boundaries for children while helping them understand that both parents want what is best for their children.

Every consideration should be given to what is in the best interests of the children.

Custody and visitation

Our ultimate goals are to:

  • Determine the most appropriate custody arrangements. Custody is one of the driving forces behind contentious divorce proceedings. Ultimately, we want what the State wants: Your child’s best interest. No one knows what is best for you and your children better than you.  Our team of divorce mediation professionals will review the different options for custody and parenting arrangements, and help you create a plan that works for your specific circumstances.
  • Establish visitation schedules that work in the real world. Visitation – the time a non-custodial parent spends with his or her children – can be extremely rigid when it is decided by a judge. In divorce mediation, however, we have room to be more creative, and to analyze exactly how visitation will work best for your children and you, given your schedules and your lives. In arriving at parenting plans we can help so that both parents can parent or co-parent and have time with the children.
  • Be practical. You and your spouse may require more flexibility in your scheduling than an arbitrary court order may grant, given the age or needs of your child, or the work that you do. In divorce mediation, both spouses look honestly and frankly at the problems they might face, what they each want for their future and the needs of their children addressing those needs in ways that are unique and/or personal to them.

The interests and preferences of older children should be considered. The more onboard older children are, the less likely children and parents will attempt to circumvent the parenting agreement. While our mental health professionals are mediators, they can recognize many of the emotional issues that impact the parties and children, and we may suggest appropriate counseling from independent mental health professionals for you and/or your children if it appears appropriate or necessary.

The benefits of a mediator when it comes to child support

Child support in Virginia is usually determined by the income levels of the parents, the ages of the children, and the number of children involved. During mediation, we seek to address unusual issues, such as the need for braces, who will pay for college, any private schooling, and seeing a psychologist or getting special help. Virginia law generally requires child support until a child reaches the age of 18. However, both parties may agree to make provisions for their child until he or she is “truly” an adult. Often parties wish to be secure in decision making and finances regarding a child’s higher education. In a divorce mediation, you can structure an agreement to deal with various contingencies for your children’s education.

We also review what will happen if one parent becomes unemployed or disabled or if one parent gets a better job. The children should benefit from any good fortune of the parents. Parents whose income decreases need to understand they have to provide for their children no matter their economic circumstances. However, we do want to work out a realistic settlement which provides for not only the lucrative times, but the times when the unexpected strikes. Our family mediation counselors work to address all possible income scenarios. Unlike divorce attorneys, we work in tandem with both spouses to ensure that all of their concerns for their children are heard. By working together, we can help you avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.

Turn to our family law mediators for help with divorce mediation in Northern Virginia

Children shouldn’t be pawns in divorce contests. Their safety, emotional footing, financial needs, social interests, and education must be paramount. At Divorce Mediation Associates, Ltd., our family mediators understand how important it is to help children understand what’s happening when parents divorce and how their needs are everyone’s top priority. We value mediation as a divorce litigation alternative precisely because a non-adversarial setting works better for children of all ages. For answers to your questions and to schedule an appointment for you and your spouse to learn about the process, please call us at 703-665-7592 or fill out our convenient contact form.

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