Divorce can be long and expensive if spouses battle in court over child custody, the division of their belongings, and/or child support and spousal support (alimony). In many cases, a neutral, experienced divorce mediator can help the spouses reach an agreement on some or all of these issues, reducing the time and expense of court proceedings. In a typical mediation proceeding, each party consults separately with the mediator, and then the mediator brings both spouses together to craft a compromise agreement, which the spouses then sign.
Although the speed and convenience of mediation can lead someone to decide they can represent themselves without getting their own attorney, this is not always a good idea. A mediator, even if licensed as an attorney, does not function as a “shared” divorce lawyer. The mediator does not represent either spouse, or give either spouse legal advice. The resulting agreement may not benefit both spouses equally. A spouse who has hired a divorce attorney to advise them beforehand, or help them at the mediation, or review the final mediation agreement before it is signed, may have a distinct advantage in obtaining favorable divorce terms for themselves.
If you go through divorce mediation without a lawyer and then later have problems collecting alimony or child support, or obtaining valuable personal property that was supposed to be yours under the final agreement, you may find you no longer have the cooperation of your ex-spouse. At that point, you will probably need a lawyer to assist you. Unfortunately, though, the lawyer will be stuck with your divorce mediation agreement, including any legal pitfalls in the agreement that you were not aware of when you signed it. If you instead have an experienced lawyer advising you throughout the mediation, and making sure the final terms are favorable to you, you are much more likely to end up with an agreement that protects your children, property, and future financial security.
Divorce is a serious legal matter that can affect you for years, and an experienced divorce attorney is a worthy investment. If you are considering a divorce or are in the process of divorce and need a good divorce lawyer, meet with one of the knowledgeable divorce attorneys at Minella Law Group, and let us protect your long-term interests. We can represent you before or during a divorce mediation, or in any other type of divorce proceeding. Please call Minella Law Group today at (619) 289-7948 to schedule an appointment.