The Process: Step by Step

Here is a step by step process to family law mediation with Hatcher & Baez:

Step One: 

Each party completes the Mediation Intake Form and schedules a consultation with the Intake Mediator, Matt Bristol, Of Counsel with Hatcher & Baez.


Step Two: 

Each party has an initial meeting with the Intake Mediator via Zoom. The Intake Mediator will explain all ground rules, confirm eligibility for mediation, review confidentiality rules, and discuss the provisions of Chapter 21.2 of the Code of Virginia, as incorporated into the Agreement to Mediate.  Both parties will also discuss generally the main issues in dispute. Both parties will then sign the Agreement to Mediate.


Step Three: 

The Intake Mediator will meet privately with each party to review in more detail the initial intake form and identify each party’s positions and interests regarding the issues in dispute. When deemed appropriate by the Intake Mediator, he will plan for joint sessions between the parties and respond to any process related questions; identify any need for other referrals (experts to aid in the process); and, if both parties wish to move forward, assign
specific homework to be completed  by an agreed due date.  For example, the homework may be to begin work with a licensed counselor and to gather pertinent documentation to aide in the mediation.  After review of the completed homework assignments, a Retainer Agreement for the mediation is prepared.


Step Four: 

A Retainer Agreement is sent to both parties for review and approval. If both parties approve, they then make payment of the required initial advance fee and sign the Retainer Agreement. Mediation sessions are then scheduled with a Hatcher & Baez attorney who will then mediate the material and substantive issues in dispute. The Intake Mediator will attend these meetings and thereafter provide further assistance as requested.   Once the parties resolve issues, the attorney will prepare a formal Agreement setting forth all terms.


Step Five: 

Both parties sign the formal Agreement prepared by the attorney.  Any unearned advance fees will be returned to the parties as per the Retainer Agreement. This normally concludes the representation. If, however, both parties desire to secure a court order that incorporates the Agreement, they can request Hatcher & Baez assistance under certain conditions which will be explained to them by the mediating attorney.