The Role of a General Practice Attorney
A mediator is used in divorce proceedings to help resolve difficult issues without going before a judge. This person is a neutral third party that works with you and your spouse, and sometimes your respective attorneys and is often used to assist in deciding the terms of the divorce. A mediator is not a decision maker but will work with both you and your spouse to come to equitable and agreeable decisions. There are many benefits to using a mediator to help with the settlement issues of your divorce:
- Those couples who use a mediator are more likely to come to a settlement agreement for all aspects of the divorce
- A trial is a lot more expensive than paying for mediation
- Hiring a mediator does not mean you cannot also have an attorney to assist you in the legal aspects of the divorce
- The court does not control the process — you and your spouse do
- There will not be any resolutions given to you based on legal precedents that are impersonal and rigid.
- Whatever you say during mediation is confidential — there is no public record of the details of your mediation meetings
- Dealing with your spouse using a mediator can help in the overall communication efforts between the two of you and can build a better foundation for any confrontations in the future.
Mediation is not in every couple’s best interest — if there is a history of domestic violence it may not be wise to go the route of mediation. Some will let their lawyer do the mediating for them in orer to avoid falling into the same patterns of behavior that caused the marriage to fail in the first place. In addition, a mediator cannot force decisions on either of you, one spouse may agree to use a mediator and then go on to stall the proceedings or delay paying child or spousal support. If financial support is a primary concern, you may have to have those decisions made by a court.
Successful Mediation — If both parties are open to compromising and fair negotiating, mediation is a good tool for getting this accomplished. A mediator can take a seemingly impossible task and bring it to a conclusion that is agreeable to everyone if the parties commit to the process.
How Does Mediation Work?
The mediator will explain the process at the first meeting. Sometimes you will be in the same room as the other spouse, sometimes you will meet separately and then come together after the mediator understands the views of both sides.
How are Lawyers Involved in Mediation?
Your lawyer may suggest that you attend the first meeting with the mediator without being represented by your attorney. However, bring your attorney if your spouse is bringing a lawyer to the table. You will want to be equally represented.
After the first meeting, the mediator, you, and your spouse will have a better understanding of what needs to be accomplished and how to go about doing so. You will probably be asked to gather certain information about property or accounts. After the mediation and negotiations are complete and you feel it has been a success, the attorneys will take the documents created as a result of the mediation and incorporate them with the balance of the divorce documents.
Hiring a divorce attorney experienced in mediation strategy will help you better understand the role of the mediator and how to get the settlement you deserve.