Once you and your West Virginia spouse have decided to divorce, you’ll have many important decisions to make. One of the first, and perhaps the most important, involves choosing a divorce mediator if you elect to end your marriage without resorting to litigation. Selecting the right one is crucial as this individual will help you through sensitive issues and legal and financial topics.
Five factors to consider
The most significant factor in choosing a divorce mediator is finding a person you can trust. Mediation involves high emotions, so you and your spouse must be able to connect with the mediator on your own individual levels. You should feel comfortable with your mediator’s advice. Positive signs include a professional who gives advice but allows you to make your own decisions, as well as someone who will allow you to seek independent advice about various topics.
Other essential considerations include:
- Verifying that your mediator only handles divorce and similar family law cases
- Has substantial education in dispute resolution and pursues ongoing education courses
- Has published articles and/or is substantially involved in the profession
- Determine whether a flat fee or hourly billing is more appropriate for you
Divorce mediation can substantially reduce the stress involved, so choosing wisely is in your best interests.
Mediation can help reduce divorce costs
Whatever way you look at it, divorce can be expensive, but using mediation to iron out differences between you and your spouse can save time along with high court costs. Family law issues can be challenging to resolve, so the more time you spend with a mediator, the less time you’ll have to spend in court.
West Virginia courts also encourage using a mediator in specified situations, such as when parents cannot agree on custody and visitation regarding their young children. In these instances, mediation can help you focus on your children’s best interests.