Prince William County Bar Association
The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, (JDR) Conciliator’s program is designed to provide an alternative to traditional court proceedings as a means of resolving all contested issues on the JDR motions docket in the Thirty-First Judicial Circuit, which includes Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, Virginia. This docket covers motions for temporary custody, temporary support, and temporary visitation.
At the beginning of court, the judge announces that trained conciliators, which are volunteer attorneys from the Prince William County Bar Association, are available to resolve issues, and sends the parties to the conciliators if they agree to participate. The conciliation session is conducted outside the courtroom in a conference room, prior to the case being called. This program is available for clients who have legal representation as well as pro se litigants, (those appearing before the court without an attorney).
If the parties reach an agreement, they present it to the court. Depending on the availability of the conciliator, (there could be others waiting to see the conciliator), the conciliator may go into court with the parties. It is also possible that the conciliator will handwrite a draft agreement, or in the case of support, “run the guidelines” for the parties. If no agreement is reached, then the parties would represent that to the court and there would be a hearing lasting up to 30 minutes. Whether through a successful conciliation session or a quick hearing, the results become a binding court order until such time as a full hearing can be heard.