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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.


    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy


    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros


    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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Preparing for Your Virginia Divorce Mediation


If you and your spouse have opted to give mediation a chance to resolve outstanding issues in your pending divorce, it’s important to take the process seriously and ensure you are properly prepared beforehand. Mediation only works if both spouses are serious about resolving their outstanding issues rather than letting a judge decide during a formal hearing.

To help get the most out of your mediation, here is what you need to know on being properly prepared. When you retain a Leesburg divorce attorney, he or she will also educate you on what to expect during your mediation.

Start by Picking the Right Mediator for You

Choosing the right mediator will impact whether or not the mediation is successful. You want someone you can communicate with, but also someone who is experienced with any special issues you have. Perhaps your outstanding issues have to do with a complex financial situation. You want to work with a mediator who can help provide guidance and help you both reach an amicable resolution.

Know What You Need Before Walking into Mediation

Take time to consider what you really need from this mediation before the hearing. Do you have a bottom line on what you’re willing to accept in order to settle? Remember, what you need and what you want are two different things. If you are willing to compromise on something you want, you might have a better chance at resolution.

You should also think about your ex and what he or she is likely to ask for. You know your spouse much better than a mediator does. You likely already have an idea on what he or she will demand and/or compromise on. This will help the negotiations and perhaps help you both reach an amicable settlement.

Keep an Open Mind

If you aren’t open to the process, then mediation is not going to work. The more you fixate on handling things your way, the less likely you are to get anything done. Part of a mediator’s job is to find creative solutions to resolve your issues. If you are not willing to explore other solutions outside of your own, then you aren’t likely to have a successful mediation.

Trust Your Attorney Not Internet Research

Some people believe everything if it’s written online and that can be dangerous, especially when it comes to legal topics. Trust what your attorney tells you about applicable Virginia laws, not a random divorce guide you read about a couple in California. The laws in California are very different and how a divorce resolved there has no bearing on how yours will end.

Get the Information Requested

You will be asked to get copies of financial documents, account balances, etc. and that’s an important step in preparing for a successful mediation. If you suspect your ex is hiding assets or spending joint funds excessively, you’ll want to provide as much proof as possible. If you come unprepared, there is not much help a mediator can provide if he or she is stuck relying on each of your verbal statements.

Contact a Virginia Divorce Attorney

If you need assistance with your Virginia divorce, contact the Leesburg family law attorneys at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC to schedule an initial consultation. Let one of our skilled attorneys help protect your rights and navigate the process of a contested divorce.


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Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 provides that businesses that offer professional rather than retail services may remain open. Our firm is continuing to operate to ensure you and your family have advocates available for whatever legal issue you face. For clients who prefer, we can arrange meeting by Zoom or other video-conferencing. We are also implementing internal procedures to provide a safe environment in the office. Please contact us at 703-777-1795 or schedule an appointment today!