Obtaining a divorce through mediation avoids opposing attorneys arguing on behalf of their clients, costs less, is faster, and can be less emotional than a courtroom divorce with open conflict.
In mediation, the divorcing couple agrees to hire an attorney or a mediator, and attorneys who are trained as mediators are also available, to facilitate a negotiated divorce settlement. For mediation to work, a couple must be willing to compromise, honestly disclose assets, and have relatively equal bargaining power.
You will not need an attorney to represent you in mediation, though both parties are allowed to consult with an attorney. But you and your spouse will need to agree on hiring a neutral attorney who is well versed in family law and preferably with mediation or counseling experience to facilitate the mediation.
Without taking sides, your mediation attorney will help you and your spouse resolve the major issues in a divorce, such as:
Your mediating attorney can bring stability to the mediation process by establishing a set fee for the mediation and a timeline for negotiated decisions to be reached.
Establishing a cooperative, calm environment for the mediation is important so you and your spouse can focus on the issues at hand with the best interests of each of you and the children in mind. Your your mediation attorney will do that.
The mediating attorney also will guide you and your spouse through the applicable family law so you and your spouse can make educated decisions during the negotiations.
What your mediating attorney will not do is take sides.
Once your negotiated divorce settlement is reached, your mediating attorney will prepare the divorce papers for approval by the court. A mediator who is not an attorney cannot by law prepare your divorce papers.