One Carriage Lane, Building D


Telephone: (843) 769-0311

Facsimile:  (843) 769-7079

family law  *   collaborative law  *   mediation  *   cooperative law


Mediation with Bluestein and DouglasThere are several routes to take when beginning a divorce or separation. No matter how we begin, the majority of our contested cases end up being resolved in mediation.

Mediation is a process by which a mediator – usually a lawyer with extensive Family Court experience – meets with the parties, either individually or together, with their own lawyers or without – to help them reach an agreement on the issues. The mediator does not represent either of the parties, and does not make any decisions in the case. Mediators help the parties reach an agreement on their own, so the case does not have to be tried. Mediated agreements must be approved by the Family Court and made into a Family Court Order before they are enforceable.

There are many advantages to mediation, including:

  • Creative solutions. Often the mediator can fashion creative provisions that a Family
    Court judge might not have the authority to include in an Order.
  • Speed. You get a quicker resolution to your case. It can take more than a year to have
    trial scheduled, but mediation can be scheduled at any point during the case.
  • Preparation Expense. Most of the time, mediation is far less expensive than trial. Even
    though mediation requires extensive attorney preparation, it does not come close to the
    preparation needed for trial.
  • Time. A trial is often scheduled for more than one day or court time, and sometimes
    more than one week of court time. Mediation is usually finished in one day, although
    more complex cases may take several days.
  • Control. You keep control over your life when you reach a mediated settlement. A
    Family Court Judge has only the information presented during trial on which to base
    major decisions about your life the lives of your children. When you get a mediated
    agreement, you and your estranged spouse make all of the decisions.
  • Finality. When you complete a trial and get a judge’s ruling, either or both parties can
    appeal that ruling. This can take years, and end up with a re-trial of the same issues.
    When you get a mediated agreement, you are finished with your case. When a mediated
    agreement becomes a written, signed agreement and is approved and adopted by the
    Family Court, it is final and cannot be appealed.
  • Security. When you take your case to trial, you have no idea what the Judge’s ruling
    might be. When you enter into a mediated agreement, you do not face the uncertainty of the Family Court Judge’s decision.

Recent News

Natalie Parker Bluestein is 2014 President of the Charleston County Bar Association

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Protecting the Nest by John Carroll Doyle

Family Law

We are a Family Law firm, meaning we help clients with divorces, custody disputes, support matters, and other cases in Family Court. Our cases are mostly in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley Counties, but we also have cases in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and other counties.

Collaborative Law

Both Natalie Parker Bluestein and Jane Nussbaum Douglas are certified to practice Collaborative Law. If you and your estranged spouse have talked about trying to handle your case amicably, Collaborative Law may be what you are looking for. We maintain a list of other attorneys in the area who are certified in Collaborative Law for you to give to your spouse after you have met with us, so that the case can proceed collaboratively. You can find out more about collaborative law by clicking here.


Natalie Parker Bluestein is a Certified Family Court Mediator. She mediates cases for unrepresented litigants and for litigants who are represented by other counsel. Most of the contested cases we have go to mediation with a certified Family Court Mediator. You can find out more about mediation by clicking here.

Contact Us

You will find a link here to information about contacting us to schedule an Initial Consultation. If you wish to retain one of our attorneys, you will first need to schedule an Initial Consultation.