The final session of the Virginia Mediation Network spring series is open for registration. In the session participants will be introduced in how to construct a mediation process that is trauma-sensitive and trauma informed. This webinar will focus how members may come into mediation with experiences of trauma, how mediators are affected by secondary trauma, and how the court system can be traumatic and thereby impact some participants in mediation. While the speakers will address the impact on children, they will also provide a broad overview of the topic of trauma and mediation. The speakers will include Jamie E. Austin, the Regional Director for Pathways in Culpepper, Virginia and Shannon Sneary, a mediator with the Fairfield Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Due to the nature of the webinar, pre-registration is required no later than May 1! (The cost is only $10.00 for VMN members!) You may register by visiting the VMN website.Read More
"What do we do about Christmas?" This is a question that comes up in most mediations involving child custody. In mediation or collaborative law, you can tailor your holiday celebrations with your children consistent with your own family traditions and celebrations. Whether I’m working in a collaborative law case or in mediation, we work to make all holidays, including Christmas, peaceful, unique and special for the children. As a lawyer and mediator with offices located in West Virginia and Washington, D.C., we can design the perfect holiday for the children, together.Read More
Many times parents believe that the child should have a chance to articulate their opinion in a divorce or child custody case. Many courts prefer that their opinions be addressed through the appointment of a specially trained lawyer, or a Guardian Ad LItem, who may interview the child outside of the courtroom. Another option is to include children in mediation. While this option should be employed sparingly, for some families it might serve to empower the children and bring the family closer. Only a specially trained mediator, often working with a child specialist, can assess the situation and determine whether or not the child's participation is beneficial. Our office accepts cases in West Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia and can work with families to determine the best mediation structure for you.