South Carolina Law Firm Video Frequently Asked Questions
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process that helps parties resolve issues without having to go to court. It is intended to give the parties an opportunity to come together so they can have a hand in how their orders look in the end, rather than leaving it up to a judge. Mediation is now a mandatory requirement in all counties in South Carolina. There are exceptions for whether or not you have to engage in mediation, including if you already have an agreement in your case, but usually you will have to go to mediation. If you do, the process usually takes half a day to an entire day, depending on the circumstances. It will be much shorter if an agreement is reached early on. At mediation, both parties and their attorneys will be heard, but the mediator is not a judge. The mediator’s sole goal is to help the parties resolve the issues in the case. It is important to understand your priorities so you can understand what you are willing to give up in order to reach a compromise and what you really find important and need to insist on maintaining. If cases do not settle at mediation, the next step is usually to file a final hearing request and prepare for trial. Mediators charge an hourly fee that varies from mediator to mediator. Mediators come from a variety of backgrounds and experience, which is why it is important to have a reliable attorney on your side so that the attorney can help pick a mediator that is best suited for you and your case, as well as your budget.