Mediator vs Lawyer | Which is better for a Divorce?
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Mediator vs. Lawyer

Divorce Mediator

Lawyer

The Divorce Costs are shared between you and your ex-spouse.Fair approach for both parties. Both parties incur the individual costs of their divorce lawyers.
Fair approach for both parties. Lawyers won’t necessarily look for fairness between parties.
Divorce mediators are highly knowledgeable about the laws. Each party gets individual legal advice but at double the cost.
Deals with emotional component of divorcing. Doesn’t usually deal with emotional component.
The mediator takes no position or side. Lawyers can take a position which may cause more conflict.
You & your ex-spouse control how long it takes. Legal system controls how long it takes.

Divorce Mediators and Lawyers

There are two main reasons for working with a divorce mediator vs lawyer for your divorce:

Divorce Costs

In divorce mediation both parties share the cost of the mediation down the middle – 50/50. When you consult a lawyer you pay for your lawyer’s time by the hour, and each individual is responsible for the total time and cost of their divorce lawyers.

Many divorcing parties are concerned about not having a divorce lawyer during the mediation process itself. They feel their rights may not be protected or they might make mistakes if they do not have someone “who is totally on their side.” The difference between a divorce mediator vs lawyer, is that the mediator works for both parties and for the integrity of the settlement process.

The divorcing parties may retain a divorce lawyer before the mediation begins if they wish. In some cases they may even bring their lawyers with them to the mediation. This is VERY expensive. Paying for both the divorce mediator and lawyer can easily triple the divorce expenses with no discernible benefit.

Easing Divorce Negotiations

From experience, I do not encourage bringing a divorce lawyer into mediation sessions, because it tends to make both mediating parties much more defensive.  Lawyers by definition represent one side of a conflict. They are not usually advocating for compromise. A mediation can be much more difficult when the parties take a hard position, rather than looking for settlement.

If mediating parties are concerned about agreeing to something, they are always able to request advice from a divorce lawyer at any time during the mediation process. The mediator (according to the retainer agreement) is able to speak to the lawyer to explain the decision making process at any time as well.

Working Together

In any mediation settlement, divorce mediators and lawyers both have a very important part to play. The essence of divorce mediation is that you and your ex-spouse meet with a mediator to work out all the details of your divorce. At the end of the mediation you will receive a written document called the Memorandum of Understanding.  This document sets out all the oral agreements you and your ex-spouse have agreed to with the mediator. A lawyer will always see the Memorandum of Understanding, before the mediating party signs it.  If there are any issues relating to the law that are incorrect there will still be time to change it. This is called independent legal advice, and ensures that neither mediating party will make a mistake before signing.

Call Julian today for your free 30 minute phone consultation.