Virginia's Judicial System

Readers' Response

Question: If a mediator serves as an instructor for a parent education class, can he or she subsequently mediate a case involving attendees of the parenting class?

Answer: The parent education instructor provides information on the effects of separation/divorce on children and suggestions regarding good parenting skills. The mediator is a neutral who assists parties in understanding each other's concerns and interests and facilitates an agreement on issues in conflict. If both parties attend a parenting class with the same instructor and both want that instructor to serve in the role of mediator in a separate proceeding, the mediator may mediate for those parties so long as the parties perceive the mediator to be neutral and the parties understand that the mediator's role is different from the instructor's role. The mediator should also feel confident that there is no conflict of interest and that he or she can remain neutral during the mediation, regardless of what exchange of information may have transpired during the parenting class.


New Question:

For custody, visitation, and support cases referred to mediation under Senate Bill 127, does the dispute resolution evaluation session have to take place within fourteen days of the date of the Order, or is the fourteen days a deadline by which the mediator must schedule the dispute resolution evaluation session?

You are invited to respond. Please send your response to: Readers' Response, c/o Resolutions, Office of the Executive Secretary, Department of Dispute Resolution Services, 100 North Ninth Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.


This page last modified: February 26, 2001