Be Aware: In Mediation You Typically Won’t Have an Advocate
There are a lot of benefits associated with divorce mediation, chief among them being that you get to enjoy greater control over the outcomes of your divorce.
Of course, that control can be a double-edged sword. Unlike other forms of divorce, including collaborative divorce or litigation, you will not have an attorney advocating for you. It’s important to be aware of this before you dive into mediation.
Attorneys in mediation are merely advisors
You are allowed to retain an attorney when going through mediation, but keep in mind that their role will be different in such a case. They may be allowed to attend mediation sessions, but their role mostly is to review agreements and proposals with you and help you protect your interests. They will not be active advocates for you in a mediation session.
Some mediators discourage attorneys from attending at all, because they might feel it creates an adversarial environment. And if one spouse does not have an attorney, it might create the feeling of a power imbalance, which could jeopardize the mediation process.
In addition, the role of the mediator is to be impartial and to guide discussions. They are not there to advocate for one person’s interests over the other, or to make decisions regarding your divorce issues themselves. They are merely there to facilitate your conversations and make sure you are communicating effectively and respectfully.
So again, you are able to retain legal counsel when going through mediation, but their role will mostly be to assist and inform you outside of your mediation sessions. For more information about the role of an attorney in divorce mediation, contact an experienced Long Island attorney at Solutions Divorce Mediation.