Family law mediation is a process used to avoid expensive lawsuits and court intervention pertaining to child custody, divorce, family law and relocation issues.  Family law mediation is an excellent way to solve issues that arise before filing for divorce when tensions have yet to fully escalate.

After the divorce is final, family law mediation is useful for settling child custody disputes, as it acts as a vehicle to resolve disagreements before requiring courts to get involved with the matter.

Regardless of your particular position in a family law dispute, mediation should always be considered before attempting to resolve your situation with emotionally draining and costly court intervention.

Understanding Family Law Mediation

There are many benefits to using mediation as a gentler alternative for matters concerning divorce.  For example, a family law mediator is a neutral party who specializes in developing paths to a resolution so that the interests of both parties are met. In a nutshell, mediation is designed to help move on from the issues of the past so that the focus can be placed where it needs to be — finding ways to come to decisions which will benefit all parties involved moving into the future.  

Similar to hiring a lawyer, all information (with the exception of child abuse allegations) is fully confidential and can not be used against either party in upcoming court proceedings.  One of the best parts of the family law mediation process is that there is no risk. Although parties much of the time come to resolutions during the mediation process, for the cases where they do not, there is always the option to then take the dispute to court.

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Reaching Agreement

Once a resolution has been reached which satisfies both parties, it is then the mediator’s job to finalize your agreement and present it to the judge overseeing your case.  At the point when the judge approves, your agreement is then processed as an order and will be subsequently dismissed along with the need for any further court proceedings on the matter.

When reaching an agreement with mediation, you not only avoid potential exorbitant court costs and lengthy, emotionally draining battles but you also reduce internal conflicts which affect the entire family.

Benefits Of Pre-Divorce Mediation

Are you considering or currently engaged in a divorce and would like to make the process as painless as possible?  Want to have a say in how your family affairs are handled instead of having a judge decide for you? One of the best advantages of pre-divorce mediation is that it allows the divorcing spouses to settle their differences in the company of a mediator, which helps keep costs low while creating a space where both parties can be heard.

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Understanding The Pre-Divorce Mediation Process

When beginning the mediation process each party will get the opportunity to express a short statement concerning their viewpoint on the situation. Opening statements are then usually followed up by some questions by the mediator to get further clarifications. In some cases, the mediator may want to reflect on specific elements of each party’s statement to make sure everyone agrees and clearly understands what has been said.  

From this point, it is the mediator’s job to find areas of common ground where both parties agree and then from there begin working on the areas where they do not.  The mediator then outlines the points of the disagreement which need focus and begins creating a strategy for how to reach a resolution.

This part of the process usually requires that each party will need to gather further information, especially in cases of child custody or property disputes. (For example, unless you know for certain the exact worth of your property, how can you engage in a logical debate over a settlement?)  A mediator can help you understand the information which is required to move forward and ask that both parties mutually be responsible for returning with the necessary documentation within a reasonable period of time.

Compromise Can Be A Good Thing

One of the most valuable aspects of mediation is that it creates an opportunity for each party to understand the position of the other without necessarily having to agree with them.  Once a general level of understanding has been reached regarding each party’s concerns, it is much easier to reach conclusions of how things can become resolved. Many times when it is clear one party is making efforts to compromise it encourages the other party to do the same.

With mediation, compromise is the name of the game. It helps for each party to realize that mediation is not about making demands and then expecting the other party to simply accept them. Bringing a disagreement to a place of mutual understanding requires that the interests of both parties are taken into account. Mediation creates a platform by which each party can be heard and have their points of view on the dispute feel validated.  By reducing the sense of conflict surrounding the dispute, mediation helps avoid unnecessary emotionally charged decision making which hinders the ability to obtain what both parties ultimately desire; a resolution.

If you have questions regarding family law mediation or would like to hire a family law mediator and live in the Southern West Virginia area, please don’t hesitate to contact the friendly and knowledgeable mediation professionals at Taylor & Hinkle, Attorneys at Law today!  (304) 894-8733