Video Series Part 3
A common misconception in divorce mediation is that if you’re using a mediator, you don’t need an attorney. For some couples that may be true. However, often times attorneys/legal advisers play an important and necessary role in the early stages of a mediated divorce process.
While an attorney is the legal advocate for the client, a mediator acts as a neutral guide and facilitator for the divorcing couple. Mediators and attorneys play different but crucial roles in the divorce process. A mediator provides a safe environment for the divorcing couple to have rich discussions about options in order to reach sound, durable agreements that meet their needs and objectives, while an attorney helps the client strategize, understand the law and create viable options.
I encourage clients to at least have an attorney review things before finalizing agreements so the clients understand the legal perspective and have confidence in their agreement. However, if a client wants to have their agreement based on possible legal outcomes the client is best served by consulting with the attorney early on. This is also acceptable and recommended.
Attorneys act as law coaches for their clients, while mediators facilitate difficult discussions between clients. A legal adviser can review any agreement made with the mediator so that the client fully understands what it means for them before it becomes legally binding. During mediation, an attorney may help their client stay on track and keep focused. The attorney coaches the client and helps them strategically negotiate during mediation and also acts as a consultant when the client has legal questions or concerns.
Mediators and attorneys often times work together in harmony for the benefit of the clients. Having two attorneys plus a mediator during the divorce process will allow the entire group to work together toward mutually beneficial options for both clients. This can be very empowering! Each individual’s perspective and expertise is an important piece to the divorce puzzle.
Contact Whole Mediation for a free one-hour consultation.