Do You Need a Lawyer if You're Opting for Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is touted widely as the way to go for spouses seeking a more pro-active role in deciding the outcome of their divorce settlement. With a host of divorce mediation specialist with a range of areas of expertise from psychology and counseling to just plain mediation, there may still be good reason to involve an attorney in the process. In fact, if you find a divorce mediation specialist with some legal background, all the better. And here’s why.
What it means to go it alone
Choosing to ‘do your own thing’ during divorce mediation may seem like the civilized thing to do, but it can be quite the opposite if you aren’t careful. When things start out, you may feel you’re in control and know your spouse better than anyone else, which is why you’re best qualified to handle the mediation. While that may be true, there are times when an objective third party helps. While a divorce mediation specialist is all that, they don’t have your interests as their only focus – they are equally invested in the outcome for your spouse. A divorce attorney on the other hand, has one goal – getting the best deal for you.
Negotiating muscle power
Divorce mediation requires a lot of back and forth between both parties, and sometimes contentious issues may reach a stalemate. A good divorce attorney may be more skilled at negotiating a better deal for you and getting the buy-in of your soon to be ex as well, a step critical to the mediation process which requires a ‘mutually agreeable’ outcome.
Why legal help matters
When a divorce lawyer comes on board during the mediation, quite often, they may uncover common issues that may have slipped through the cracks. having worked on hundreds of cases they are aware of potential problem areas that may not even have crossed your mind. Little issues that could flare up like details of what happens if one parent gets a new job or relocates to a different state in the future. They can also offer insight on legal ramifications or possible outcomes, should a specific issue be taken to court.
A divorce lawyer is well trained in the area of documentation and paperwork related to divorce, as well as the intricacies of divorce law. Even of you and your spouse are able to talk your way to an acceptable solution, you may not have the legal expertise to create a document that holds in court. A legal expert will find the flaws or loopholes if any, and ensure the final agreement is watertight. A divorce mediation specialist can take you towards that solution and help you find that common ground, but ultimately, you will need to consult a lawyer to get things in order and to be done with your divorce as swiftly as possible.
Ideally, reach out to a reviewing or consulting divorce attorney with a background in mediation to be able to arrive at the most optimal solution that’s also valid and covers all bases.
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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