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Jan 22

VA’s 2016 General Assembly Gives Boost to Mediation

During the 2016 Virginia General Assembly session legislators considered and passed legislation important to mediators across Virginia.

The Code of Virginia currently states that court-appointed mediators in family cases receive a flat fee of $100 for a mediation. This amount did not reflect the amount of work that goes into these mediations and the time required for the administrative matters surrounding the mediation. This amount has also remained the same for the last 15 years.

Bills were introduced to increase the fee from $100 to $120 and to treat custody appointments as separate appointments from support appointments for purposes of payment.

Virginia’s legislators recognized the value of mediation and voted overwhelmingly to increase funding for mediators to $120 (at least for the next two years) and to pay cases that involve support separate from cases involving custody/visitation.

This effort was the culmination of two years of hard work by the Mediator Compensation Task Force (MCTF), which is made up of members from the Virginia Mediation Network and the Virginia Association of Community Conflict Resolution (VACCR) along with representatives from Dispute Resolution Services of the Office of the Executive Secretary.  The Virginia Bar Association lent the use of its lobbyist to help make the legislative request successful.

 

The support for this initiative from mediators and mediation supporters across the state also played an important role in the success of the initiative.