As many people in Harrisonburg may realize even by a quick search online, divorce and family law mediation are becoming increasingly popular ways by which Virginia couples try to resolve their disputes.

Some Virginia courts may even require most couples to participate in mediation.

For those who do not know, mediation is a process by which a third party expert called a mediator helps those locked in a family law dispute negotiate agreements between themselves. Usually, a mediator is an attorney, a former judge, or someone involved in the world of families and family law.

Even if mediation is not required, some may see the benefits of mediation in terms of saving time, money and stress. Still, they may wonder whether and to what extent they’ll still be able to rely on their family law attorneys for help.

Attorneys can still help one through all aspects of the mediation process. For instance, prior to the mediation, they may be able to help a client select a mediator that will be likely to be fair to both sides, have a good understanding of the case and help the couple reach an agreement.

During and immediately before the process, the attorney can go over procedures with the client in order to ease his or her nerves and better understand what is transpiring and why. Likewise, as the mediation goes forward, the attorney can help the client evaluate whether a particular settlement offer is workable and in the client’s best interests.

Finally, after the mediation is over, an attorney can, and probably should, review the agreement with the party and make sure he or she understands the details. The attorney can also help formulate the agreement so that it meets legal requirements and is sufficiently clear.