The Role of Mediation in Divorce and Family Law Cases
When you are going through a divorce or dealing with another family legal matter, litigation is only one of the legal options available to you. Mediation is a credible form of dispute resolution in family law cases in West Virginia.
Mediation is often court-mandated before the formal litigation process can ensue in family law cases involving children. Divorcing couples look at mediation as a viable method that can help them avoid a lengthy litigation process. But going into mediation without an experienced family law attorney by your side can be treacherous, so make sure you have strong legal representation available for the protection of your rights.
Role of a Divorce Mediator in West Virginia Divorce Proceedings
Mediators are trained and neutral third parties that are either hired by the parties or are court appointed. Your mediator will assist both you and your spouse. They will help you arrive at an agreement to avoid litigation on any outstanding issues. This can involve financial issues and co-parenting issues where family law is concerned.
Mediators usually meet with both parties when their respective attorneys are present. There is a great deal of negotiation in front of couples getting a divorce. It can be challenging to separate lives that you and your spouse have made together. Several issues regarding the division of property, finances, child custody, and spousal support can crop up.
These are sensitive touch points that may benefit from the involvement of a mediator. You can keep things civil with your spouse and the meetings productive. Divorce mediation with a licensed divorce mediator can help facilitate communication between you and your spouse so that you both arrive at an agreement that you can live with.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
Typically, mediators have a background in psychology, law, or counseling. They detect individual nuances and dynamics in a relationship. They employ effective tools to help couples get around roadblocks for facilitating productive and healthy dialogue. It is important to note that your divorce mediator has no role in making judgments or decisions in a divorce.
It’s your job to get through issues with your spouse. The mediator will simply allow for better and more effective communication by asking key questions and making relevant points or suggestions.
Is Divorce Mediation Right for Me?
Divorce mediation has worked wonders for many couples. But this doesn’t necessarily make it right for all couples. If your marriage involved physical or emotional abuse, you may not be on good terms with your spouse or looking forward to negotiating with them. You may prefer attorneys and the court.
The same holds true for couples that separated on such bad terms that it has become difficult for them to communicate without entering into an argument. Most family court judges refer divorcing couples with kids to a mediator. This is to protect children from unnecessary stress and emotional upset accompanied by time-consuming litigation.
If you are facing a divorce and have children, shared assets, or a home with the other spouse, you may want to speak with an accomplished divorce attorney to learn more about mediation and other available options.
Role of Attorneys in Divorce Mediation
A lawyer can have a substantial impact on the divorce mediation process. Your attorney will be your counsel and review any agreement or document produced by the mediator. They will advise you in-between sessions to ensure the best outcomes. They will also prepare documents and assist you with research. Attorneys also assist clients in presenting the most persuasive and clear version of their needs and concerns.
Family law attorneys with experience in attending mediation sessions will be able to assist you during your sessions. They will remain in a passive role during the mediation though by taking notes. They will also provide you with feedback during negotiation breaks.
In some cases, an attorney may vocally advocate for their client during the mediation session. They may also be involved in dialogue with the opposing party’s attorney.
In high-conflict divorce cases and family law matters, attorney-assisted mediation usually provides good results. You may find an attorney to be a good fit if you are having a difficult time getting heard or are involved in a legally complex matter. The presence of an attorney can change the dynamics and permit the quieter party to have their say during negotiations.
Get a Free Case Evaluation from Our Seasoned Family Law Attorneys
The experienced and dedicated divorce attorneys at Hardy Pence, PLLC can review the terms of a proposed agreement to ensure your rights remain protected at all times. Our attorneys have the legal knowledge and acumen to handle family legal matters ranging from the most straightforward to highly complex with equal proficiency.
To set up your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at (304) 345-7250 or write to us online.