Mediation and Attorneys
“What if I’ve already been to an Attorney?
People frequently want to consult an attorney when a separation or divorce seems to be a reality. Mediation is not a substitute for the services of an attorney. Your mediator may even be an attorney, but will not represent or give legal advice to you or your spouse.
When you consult with an attorney, we encourage you to work with your attorney as counsel rather than as zealous advocate. The difference in deciding to use mediation is that you now make the decisions that will affect your life.
Do We Need an Attorney?
We encourage you each to consult with an attorney, but perhaps for different reasons than you were thinking. Among them are:
- Filing for divorce involves the court. Our court system is, frankly, a bureaucracy and can be frustrating to deal with. An attorney can help you with that. If you would like, we will provide you with a referral list of attorneys who we know work with people in mediation.
- You may have questions about the law and, in mediation, you’ll want to make informed decisions. Legal advice is one of many factors that enable you to make informed decisions.
- The product of the mediation process is a written agreement that will be a contract between you and your spouse. An attorney will use your mediated agreement to draft the marital separation agreement that gets filed in court.
- Even including your attorney fees, the costs of a mediated divorce are significantly less than an adversarial divorce. When both parties agree to work together toward a common goal, the cost of mediation – including time, money, and emotional costs – are considerably less than those of a typical contested divorce.
“What if we need the help of other professionals?
We have working relationships with local financial planners, CPAs, actuaries, business valuation experts, and other specialists who you can call upon as needed.