Lawyer J. Michael Turner, Jr. can represent you in a family court mediation and related proceedings in Greenville, SC. Having experienced legal representation can ensure that your rights are protected while you make the most of your mediation. Our family law attorney has the experience to handle your case.
Mediation in Family Court
If you have a contested divorce or child custody matter, chances are, you will eventually hear the word mediation. Most parties in the family court will participate in mediation unless they reach an agreement early in the case. Mediation is an opportunity for the parties to discuss the issues in dispute and attempt to reach a resolution without the case going to trial.
You may think it will be impossible to ever reach an agreement with your spouse or co-parent. A surprising number of cases reach a resolution through mediation. It is a facilitated process to allow parties to discuss their disagreements with the assistance of a certified mediator. Having a lawyer represent you can help you make your mediation session very constructive.
Why Have a Lawyer for Family Court Mediation?
There are several ways that having a lawyer can help you make your mediation session productive. Here are some reasons to have a lawyer for family court mediation:
- Explaining the mediation process and what to expect
- Identifying what is most important to focus on
- Knowing what the court would likely do if you were to take an issue to trial
- Handling the negotiation process and interactions with the other party
- Strategizing to determine where you should hold firm and where to compromise
- Guidance for deciding when to sign an agreement and when to pursue your case in court
- Reviewing draft language to ensure the written agreement expresses your wishes
Mediation can be a useful tool to resolve your divorce or custody case. It does not mean giving in or compromising on the things that are the most important to you. When used strategically, it can be a way to have more say over the result in your case. Having a lawyer allows you to negotiate effectively in your mediation.
How Does Mediation Work in South Carolina?
In a South Carolina family court mediation, the parties agree on a neutral mediator. The mediator facilitates a discussion of the contested issues in the case. If the parties reach an agreement, it is finalized as a resolution. Mediation may resolve some or all of the issues in the case.
Do you have to agree to a settlement at mediation?
No. While you are required to participate in the mediation, you do not have to accept a settlement that you are not happy with.
Is mediation mandatory in South Carolina family law cases?
Mediation is mandatory in most South Carolina family law cases. A party may motion the court to exempt the case from mediation for good cause. Examples of where an exemption may be granted are where a party is incarcerated, where they are mentally unable to participate, or where there is domestic violence between the parties.
(See South Carolina Alternative Dispute Resolution Rule 5(e) – Motion to Defer or Exempt from ADR)
Who is the mediator?
The parties may agree on a mediator. If they cannot agree, the court will appoint one.
Who pays for mediation?
The parties split the cost of the mediator.
Who attends the mediation?
Both parties, their attorneys, and the mediator attend the mediation session. Others are usually not allowed.
Does the mediator report back to the judge what is said at mediation?
No. The mediator will tell the court only that the parties have completed the mediation session. They will not tell the judge what was said, and they do not testify at the trial. The parties are encouraged to openly discuss issues at the mediation, so the mediator does not report the details of what is discussed.
What happens if you reach an agreement at mediation?
If you reach an agreement at mediation, the mediator prepares a memorandum of agreement. The parties then ask the family court to approve it.
Greenville Lawyer for Family Court Mediation
When you have a family court case, you need to use mediation effectively. You need to know what it can do for you, what it cannot do, and how to best approach it. Having experienced legal counsel allows you to approach your mediation session as an opportunity to pursue your legal goals.
Michael Turner is a family court mediation lawyer. Relying on his years of legal experience, he can assess your situation and personalize a strategy for your mediation session.
To discuss your case and see how a lawyer can assist you with upcoming or eventual mediation, contact Turner Family Law in Greenville today.