Links to helpful information on divorce mediation
Mediators are not ethically permitted to provide any advice, legal or otherwise, to parties to mediation. However, mediators are permitted to provide parties information that may be helpful to their decision-making during mediation. Some knowledge of the court system and the divorce process is helpful. There is a lot of incorrect information on the internet. In addition, each state’s divorce laws are different. Sometimes even the same or similar words are interpreted differently in different states. As a consequence, it is dangerous making decisions in mediation based on an erroneous understanding of the process.
The following links provide helpful information about our own Virginia court system and specifically the Fairfax County courts. The information on pro se divorces is particularly helpful since it provides the exact process that is followed in Fairfax County together with important and relevant interpretations of Virginia law. The Fairfax Bar Association, the Women’s Center and Northern Virginia Mediation Service all maintain lists of mediation friendly lawyers who may also provide assistance. Finally, I have several Virginia divorce law reference books I would be happy to share with mediation clients.
Information on Fairfax County Courts
Fairfax County Court website: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/courts
Fairfax County Juvenile Court Services website: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/courts/jdr/jdrservices.htm
General information on the Fairfax County Juvenile Court: http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/jdr/jdrinfo.pdf
Information on a Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Fairfax County
Fairfax County Court information on pro se divorces: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/courts/circuit/pdf/fba-h-53.pdf
General information on Mediation
Website with many helpful articles on mediation: www.mediate.com
Information on mediation-friendly divorce attorneys
Call the Women’s Center in Vienna, VA to obtain the names of three attorney’s who will provide 20 minutes of free legal information to you over the phone: http://thewomenscenter.org/
Visit the Northern Virginia Mediation Service website listing of mediation friendly lawyers. https://nvms.us/referal-lists/
Call the Fairfax Bar Association attorney referral line. http://www.fairfaxbar.org/page/LRS