Do I Need an Attorney for Mediation?
One of the most common questions clients ask is whether they need to hire an attorney for mediation. One of the most attractive features of mediation—a lower cost than litigation—is because attorneys are usually not involved.
However, you may benefit from consulting with an attorney before or during the process. If mediation isn’t successful, you may need a lawyer’s services.
Exploring your options
Even if you and your spouse decide to pursue mediation, it’s often a good idea to consult with an attorney beforehand. A divorce attorney can describe your legal rights and obligations. This is particularly helpful when there’s a financial or power imbalance in your relationship, such as one spouse giving up their career to care for children and the home.
Mediation doesn’t involve advocates
Mediators will know relevant divorce law and can draft a legal settlement agreement, but they are not advocates. While some mediators will allow attorneys in their sessions, they will not be allowed to advocate for you during the meetings.
Furthermore, when just one party has an attorney, it can create an imbalance. When both parties have attorneys present, it may contribute to an adversarial atmosphere. Some spouses choose to consult their attorneys after each session, instead, to review what happened.
When mediation is unsuccessful
Mediation is a cooperative process, encouraging spouses to work together to find mutually agreeable arrangements. When successful, the couple can file their settlement agreement as part of an uncontested divorce filing.
However, not every couple can come to an agreement. When this happens, the parties usually need to retain lawyers for the rest of the proceedings.
Mediation can be an easy and cost-effective tool to obtain a divorce. If you’re interested in pursuing mediation, call the trusted divorce mediators at Solutions Divorce Mediation in Long Island today.