In a best-case scenario, clients of divorce law firms seeking a divorce can work together to resolve their differences and make critical decisions without the prolonged and often traumatic process of going to divorce court.
Mediation done with an experienced divorce mediator is an option many willing spouses choose for getting through those decisions, whether related to property dispersal, child custody, or anything else.
Is A Divorce Lawyer Needed When Using Mediation?
When choosing mediation, many question whether they still need to hire divorce lawyers, too.
Although there is no rule that states someone must do that, there are many reasons why working with divorce attorneys even when choosing mediation is the best idea.
The best way to understand why is to learn the difference between what each professional does to help clients through their productive and amicable divorces.
Divorce Mediators and Divorce Lawyers
Primarily, the difference between divorce lawyers and mediators is that lawyers are professionals who offer legal advice that is in their client's best interest and follows the law, while mediators focus on resolving questions and disputes between the spouses as they try to separate themselves and make essential divorce decisions.
In this case, the happy medium is when mediators help clients make their decisions which divorce attorneys find to be equally acceptable in how they affect their clients.
Neither professional can force a client to agree to any one decision, but it is the attorney’s job to point out as decisions are being discussed and made what is in their client’s best interest and what isn’t.
This is why mediation usually occurs with the two spouses separated, but each is able to discuss with their divorce lawyers as negotiations are happening.
How Are Divorce Mediators and Divorce Attorneys Different?
A mediator’s job is to guide spouses through the decision-making process and act as a go-between to help them compromise without the fighting or distractions that can happen when spouses are face-to-face.
Mediators do not advise clients; instead, these experienced professionals who have backgrounds in marriage counseling, psychology, and similar fields keep communication on track so that negotiations can move forward.
On the other hand, a divorce lawyer’s job is to be the one to offer advice to their client with regard to the negotiations being presented.
Lawyers with divorce law firms communicate only with their clients, while mediators communicate with both spouses.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to work with a divorce law firm even when knowing from the start that mediation is the goal is a personal one, but it is highly recommended.
Spouses should still have the representation of an experienced divorce attorney for their benefit to protect their own interests while attempting to compromise and be more amicable.