If M. Brooks Moss has been appointed or selected as the Mediator in your case, you will receive notice of the Mediation date and time from your own attorney or from the opposing attorney if you are unrepresented.
Your attorney will provide the court documents and other relevant information prior to the date of mediation. All of the information will be reviewed prior to the mediation. If you are not represented and desire to provide additional documents for review prior to medation, email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Every aspect of mediation is confidential. Nothing that occurs in mediation can be discussed outside of mediation nor can any information be used in trial.
M. Brooks Moss, PA
Attorney at Law
Everything in mediation is completely confidential. Information and offers from mediation cannot be discussed outside mediation nor can be used in trial.
M. Brooks Moss is a certified Family Court Mediator and conducts mediation to assist individuals with resolving their legal issues through compromise.
Only parties may attend mediation. No other individuals may take part in the process without first obtaining approval from the opposing party, opposing counsel and the mediator.
Mediation is typically scheduled for a minimum of three (3) hours and up to eight (8) hours per day. Some cases, though rare, may be scheduled for more than one (1) day. Please be prepared to pay for a minimum of four (4) hours of the mediator's time. The mediator must spend time prior to the mediation reviewing the documents and issues of the case. Additionally, after the mediation concludes, the mediator must provide a written report to the Court. The rates of the mediator vary based upon the complexity of the case and the Order of the Court.
You will be required to sign a contract that outlines the rules of mediation, which includes the confidentiality and payment terms.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an informal process in which a third-party mediator facilitates settlement discussion between parties. Any settlement is voluntary. In the absence of settlement, the parties lose none of their rights to trial in Family Court. Mediation conferences are private and all communications made there are confidential.
How is Mediation different than Court?
Mediation allows the parties to control the resolution of their disputes. Because the parties control the process, their views and concerns are heard and acknowledged. Mediation helps the parties to reach resolutions that they may not have considered or that may not be commonly used in court, which gives the parties a more beneficial outcome. In mediation, both parties reach their own agreement which helps limit future problems. A successful mediation can result in a quicker resolution of disputes at a lower cost. Court time is minimal, as it is only necessary for the approval of the mediated agreement rather than a contested hearing.
When do you Mediate a case?
South Carolina requires mandatory mediation in Family Court. All contested cases are subject to mediation before a final hearing can be scheduled. Mediation can be completed before your Family Court case is filed. Mediation is a less expensive alternative to litigation. If you would like to mediate your case before it goes to Court, and all parties agree, a mediation consultation is necessary.
Mediation must be completed prior to a final hearing being scheduled in a contested case. A contested case is any case where the parties do not agree on at least one issue and the court must make a determination and issue a ruling on the issue.
What does Mediation cost?
The Mediator shall be paid a statutory fee per hour per the rules, but mediators can charge higher fees based on experience. Parties should be prepared to pay for up to four hours of mediation when they arrive. Some mediations are scheduled for the full day and eight hours would be required. Court rules require the equal division of these fees unless otherwise agreed upon. Compensation is not contingent upon the success of the Mediator.
Who can be a Mediator?
Certified Mediators must complete a forty hour educational program and meet the other requirements set forth by the South Carolina Judicial Department.
Can a Guardian ad Litem mediate your case?
A Guardian ad Litem cannot act as a Guardian ad Litem and Mediator in the same case. However, a Guardian ad Litem may participate in a mediation or a settlement conference with the consent of the parties. Attendance by the Guardian ad Litem in contested custody and visitation cases can be beneficial.
Can a Mediator provide legal advice?
Mediators can give you information about state laws and local court procedures, but cannot give legal advice. Mediators do not interpret statutes or advise about or recommend any specific legal action that would benefit either party over the other.
What is a Mediator?
A Mediator is a trained neutral individual that helps the parties reach a final agreement through negotiation and compromise.
If you reach an agreement in mediation, the agreement will be reduced to writing and signed by all parties. The parties will return to court only to have the agreement approved.