DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY DURING MEDIATION?December 28, 2020
Congratulations. You and your spouse have chosen mediation. You have decided to work together amicably and craft a divorce agreement with the terms you want, without intervention from a Judge. The law does not require you to hire a lawyer, although it is encouraged. You may have some legal concerns that are not covered in the scope of your mediation.
Why do I need an attorney if my mediator is a lawyer?
Mediation is not legal advice. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is designed to assist each party with working through their differences to create a separation agreement most agreeable to both parties.
Although your mediator may also be a divorce lawyer, the role of the mediator is to be a neutral, facilitating discussion between you and your spouse; working through obstacles, with the goal of filing a separation agreement beneficial to both parties.
Can the mediator talk about the law?
Your mediator can tell you about the law generally, but not how it would affect your specific situation. The mediator can suggest solutions that are within the law; only you and your lawyer can decide if those solutions meet your specific goals.
When should I hire an attorney?
You can hire an attorney any time during mediation.
Many couples opt to work through the mediation unrepresented. Once terms of an agreement are decided, each party hires an attorney to review the agreement and answer any specific legal questions.
Other couples decide to hire attorneys at the beginning of the mediation. The lawyers may either be present during the sessions or may meet with you after to review what was discussed. This is a good idea when couples have many contested issues and are unable to agree.
Or, a couple can decide to try mediation, during the course of litigation. Many times, there is one sticking point that is exacerbated by arguing attorneys and the emotions of the parties. Hiring a mediator who is a neutral, to assist with the one or two sticking points, often will aid in moving the negotiations back on track.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, courts are encouraging mutual and amicable negotiations. Questions about whether mediation is right for you? Contact Fleischer Law Solutions for a consultation.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship on the part of the reader.