“If I’m using divorce mediation, why do I need to hire a lawyer?” It’s a question we hear all the time. Can’t I just hire a mediator who is a lawyer as well? A majority of divorce mediators are also attorneys, but their role as a mediator is different than the role of a lawyer and vice versa.
If you are choosing to participate in mediation for your divorce process, hiring a lawyer may be one of the smartest things you can do to protect yourself, and to make the process go even smoother. Mediators are not allowed to give your legal advice; you will need to hire a lawyer for that.
Here you will learn why you might want to hire a lawyer even if you choose to mediate, and how to save money on your divorce with mediation.
You don’t technically need to be represented by a lawyer during divorce mediation. However, there are some situations where hiring a lawyer could help during the mediation process, even if they aren’t in the room when the mediation happens. A lawyer’s role is to help you fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities. A mediator cannot provide legal advice to either spouse, whereas a divorce lawyer can provide advice to his/her own client (not to the other spouse). Having a lawyer represent you during mediation can be extremely helpful when negotiating settlements in a complex divorce case involving child support, asset and debt division, spousal maintenance, etc. Additionally, hiring a divorce lawyer to help with mediation means you will have an advocate on your side helping you negotiate a fair settlement agreement.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer During Divorce Mediation
There are many other reasons why hiring a lawyer during your divorce mediation might be a good idea including:
- To fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities
- To receive legal advice
- To know your options for important issues like child support and spousal maintenance calculations, property rights, etc.
- To draft your divorce documents
- To help you understand the consequences of your decisions
- To review your divorce documents before you sign them
Divorce Mediation vs Collaborative Divorce
If you feel like mediation isn’t the right option for your situation but you want to divorce out of court, collaborative divorce might be right for you. In the collaborative process, you will each have your own collaborative lawyer looking out for your best interests while helping to promote an outcome that is beneficial for the entire family.
- Karen Covy, et al. “Mediating Your Divorce? Here’s Why You Need a Mediator AND a Lawyer.” Karen Covy, 20 Mar. 2018, https://karencovy.com/understanding-divorce-mediation-process-need-mediator-lawyer/.
- “Mediating Your Divorce? Do You Still Need an Attorney?” Mediate.com – Find Mediators – World’s Leading Mediation Information Site, https://www.mediate.com/articles/RosenthalJ1.cfm.
- Heinig, Melissa. “Divorce Mediation Myths.” Www.nolo.com, Nolo, 24 Feb. 2015, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/divorce-mediation-myths-30191.html.
- Divorce Mediation Pros and Cons
- Divorce Mediation Guide
- Collaborative vs. mediation, the differences are important
Speak with Our Divorce Mediators In Arizona Today!
While the divorce mediation process is not for everyone, this process can save you money, stress, and hassle. Speak with a divorce mediator to find out if divorce mediation is right for your family. Many of the professionals on BestLegalChoices.com are also divorce mediators and can provide you with a great deal of information about your options.
COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE IS ANOTHER PEACEFUL DIVORCE OPTION
Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legal, financial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.