If you are a litigant who has decided on the mediation process or is wondering whether you should try the mediation process, seeking the guidance of an attorney who will counsel you about your individual rights and best outcomes is advised.
After your consultation, if you decide to try the mediation process, you can hire that same attorney, whose role will be more limited but extremely important during the divorce mediation process.
What is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation does not involve going to court, but rather an informal meeting with the parties and a neutral third-party mediator. Divorce mediation can be faster than traditional litigation and does not involve a judge.
What is the role of the mediator?
A mediator, an impartial third party, promotes settlement between the parties so they may avoid the litigation process.
The mediator keeps the parties focused on the process of negotiation and conflict resolution, and guides each through all the different aspects of a comprehensive settlement.
Where does an attorney come into play?
It is very wise to hire a consulting attorney in your divorce mediation.
Your attorney will be on the side line to advise you individually about your rights and offer you support during the entire mediation process.
Your attorney will be available during your mediation process to answer questions about your individual rights and best outcomes and may even attend the mediation sessions with you if you feel more empowered by having your legal advocate there.
Your attorney will prepare you for a process that will impact you for the rest of your life.
Do I need an attorney for the whole process?
Mediation does not require an attorney present. Some opt to only meet with an attorney at the end of the mediation process.
In such situations, at the conclusion of your mediation process, the mediator will provide your consulting attorney with a document referred to as the Memorandum of Understanding. The document will outline your verbal agreements and your settlement.
Your consulting attorneys will then be able to draft your final contract with the purpose of ensuring that its final version is written correctly in accordance with your settlement agreement and all pertinent information is included.
If all parties agree to the proposed settlement, your attorney will then proceed with finalization of the process, known as an “uncontested proceeding.”