Do You Need a Lawyer for Mediation?


Mediation Process with AttorneyOften, people assume that when you agree to mediation in a divorce, you give up your right to be represented by an attorney, or that an attorney will not be welcome in the mediation room.  Neither of these statements is true; mediation is often marketed as more affordable and less formal than litigation, leading some to assume that lawyers cannot be involved.  This is completely false.  While you do not need a lawyer in the mediation process, it is often very advantageous to have one.

Lawyers in the Room

Either party can absolutely hire an attorney to accompany them in mediation.  The key thing to remember is that while your mediator may be an attorney, may be very knowledgeable, and will certainly provide you with the relevant legal information you need to make informed decisions, they cannot and will not advise you as to the best course of action.  Mediators can only inform, not advise.  As a result, having an attorney in the room can be very beneficial.

The Home Stretch

Also, when mediation has successfully led you and your soon-to-be-former spouse to an agreement, an attorney can ensure that the final separation agreement is legally correct and composed properly to be acceptable by the court.  This can avoid the negative situation where a judge rejects your separation agreement after days or weeks of hard work.

Mediation is generally much more affordable than litigation, often in the order of thousands of dollars.  Investing in the advice and assistance of an attorney who counsels you solely in your interest is a good investment for such a significant event in your life, where the decisions that you make now can last a long time into the future. If both spouses have attorneys, neither will feel pressured or bullied, which can in fact increase the effectiveness of communication within the mediation process.


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