Lawyers are trained to litigate, oppose, and argue on their client’s behalf. Such common legal language (“ opposing counsel,” “opening arguments ,” “the defense rests”) supports that notion. Sit in a Juvenile & Domestic or Circuit courtroom for a few hours and count how many times an attorney says, “Objection." In fact, while you’re at it, observe a divorce trial or two. Listen to the opposing attorneys attack the other’s client, behavior, character, and values. Look at the faces, posture and body language of the clients, as they have no choice but to quietly absorb the sometimes brutal, and often embellished criticism. Then ask yourself if you are willing to potentially pay tens of thousands of dollars to have your dirty laundry aired out in a public forum in this way, with no guarantee of what the judge will decide. Of course, not all divorce litigations are like this. But why take the risk?
At Ivy Road, your divorce will be confidentially mediated by a licensed mental health professional. This means your mediator was trained to help improve functioning and communication, bolster self-esteem, make positive change and ultimately heal. You may wonder how this makes a good mediator. If you consider what the goal of mediation at Ivy Road is – 100% Uncontested Divorce (the only way to avoid litigation) – then you realize that this is an outcome that is decided solely by you and your spouse - and not a judge. It stands to reason, then, that a professional with a mental health background is better trained and more experienced at helping people come together (even if it’s the last time they ever will) to make the tough, but sound and fair decisions, and choose their own path.
The process can be emotional and painful, but we will help you through that so you are better able to focus on your true priorities and make decisions with sound reason that are driven by your own value system (as opposed to the more combative or litigious choices that are often driven by impulse and fear, and often fostered by the litigation system.)
David Scheer, M.S., L.C.P.C. (MD)
Founder & Principal Mediator
David Scheer earned his degree in clinical psychology from PGSP Stanford University Psy.D. Consortium. As a therapist, David has worked with couples, families, and individuals from a wide range of ages, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. For the past several years, David has worked almost exclusively with Charlottesville (and surrounding area) families in crisis, helping them find a way to heal from familial discord with roots reaching back several generations.
David has also completed intensive training in conflict resolution, including the state-specific divorce mediation program for Virginia.
“As a therapist, I have worked with far too many individuals and couples who were nearly bankrupted by their divorce, which often resulted in a judgement that neither felt was what they wanted. Several years ago, I was witness to someone close to me who sought resolution through mediation. From her perspective, that effort failed because, while she and her husband agreed to some issues, their mediators basically ignored the issues on which they were far apart. She had no choice but to hire an attorney. What followed can only be described as never-ending-misery.
Between her ex-husband and her, more than $75,000.00 in attorney’s fees, or what could have been one of their children's college tuition, was handed over. Believe it or not, that wasn’t even the worst part. The case lasted almost 4 years. So many personal details were made public during any of the dozen hearings. Throughout the process, she felt as if she had no control over what her kids’ and her life would look like. Ironically, in the end, she was awarded almost exactly what she originally sought in mediation. Had she found a mediator with the skill, sensitivity, and courage to push them through, she and her family would have been far better off. There would likely be less conflict and more cooperative co-parenting, less stress on the children and themselves, and clearly more money in their respective bank accounts.
Witnessing this unnecessarily agonizing experience, I realized that, with the additional training, combined with years of experience working with couples amidst brutal conflict, I could do a better job for those who sought my help. Thus, when I started this business I chose a decidedly different mission than what the mediators mentioned above followed. Where they were satisfied with only a partial agreement in a few areas, I vow to relentlessly pursue a 100% agreement in ALL required areas, so that my clients can leave with a thorough, fair and equitable Memorandum of Understanding, which will easily be transformed into a perfectly legal Uncontested Divorce Decree. I will not be satisfied with anything less.”