**H. Grady Brown serves as a Certified Family Court Mediator.**
Mediation is a neutral and confidential process where you and your attorney attempt to resolve most of the issues, if not all of the issues, with your spouse (and possibly their attorney) prior to or instead of a divorce trial. It is unique from arbitration in that (1) it is not a binding resolution enforceable in court, and (2) the mediator is a facilitator in the discussion, rather than a person acting as a judge who will decide the case one way or the other.
The mediator does not take one side or the other or have a personal interest in the outcome of the case. However, the mediator may serve as a “sounding board,” listen to each party, facilitate the discussion, and attempt amicable resolution. Any settlement between you and your spouse with the help of the mediator is voluntary and you don’t lose your rights to go to trial if necessary. Additionally, you may withdraw from mediation at any point.
In an effort to reduce the burden on South Carolina courts, parties will be ordered to attend mediation prior to a final hearing in a family court matter unless exempt. Your attorney should attend the mediation session with you in order to give you proper advice. A mediator may not give legal advice but it will be helpful to have an attorney to negotiate and advise when there may be a better solution.
The attorneys at Brown & Norton, LLC have both the knowledge and experience to advocate for you in a mediation and help you intelligently assess any offers or negotiations.