SC Family Court Mediation

SC Family Court Mediation

What is Mediation?

Family Court mediation is best described as a negotiation where the parties attempt to resolve the contested issues in their case.   Most mediations have the parties go into separate rooms while the mediator (see below) goes back and forth as the negotiation progresses.

Mediation is also known to attorneys as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution and are governed by these rules.

What is a Mediator?

It is facilitated by a mediator, who is trained in the art of conflict resolution.  The mediator is not a Judge and does not give the parties legal advice.  Further,  the mediator cannot be called as a witness if the mediation fails and will keep certain information confidential from the other party if so requested.

When does Mediation take place?

Mediation is sometimes done before a case is filed but most of the time it is done after a Temporary Hearing.   The Temporary Hearing allows the parties to get a taste of the value of their respective positions in the eyes of the Court and generally sets the groundwork for the  negotiation of the issues.

Mandatory Mediation

Some counties in South Carolina have mandatory mediation that requires the parties to enter mediation before they will set a contested trial.  A list of those counties can be found here but I’ll note that Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg are included.

Another consideration is the one-year time limit to resolve Family Court cases.  The Court will not allow you to continue under a temporary order indefinitely (past one year) so time must be made for mediation if the parties do not want their case(s) to be dismissed.

Value of Mediation

Mediation is valued by attorneys due to its propensity to settle cases.  In many instances, a party to a case may think there is no possibility of compromise only to have their cases resolved at mediation.  Nonetheless, a party is not required to reach an agreement at mediation, and so many mediated cases also proceed to trial.

Where to Mediate

Most attorneys have preferred mediators often based on those mediators who have been most successful resolving their cases.  However, most mediations are conducted at the Upstate Mediation Center where the mediators are volunteers and chosen to mediate at random.  The benefit is that there is a flat fee and often far below what the mediator would normally charge.


Please remember that each case is unique. If you have any questions about Mediation, Family Court proceedings or Family Law in general, we urge you to contact us. In order to be flexible and convenient, we have open office hours, easy appointment scheduling, and payment plans available. Call today and schedule your free confidential consultation.

Our law office serves people across the Upstate, South Carolina, including: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens, and Oconee counties.