If you watch many movies, you probably are familiar with Hollywood’s portrayal of divorce. After all, in many films, divorcing spouses conduct all-out battles before a judge in a courtroom. While divorce litigation certainly happens, a growing number of spouses are opting for divorce mediation.
According to reporting from USA Today, divorce mediation, which is an alternative to adversarial litigation, is often faster and less expensive than litigating the end of a marriage. Still, even though mediation takes place largely outside of court, it typically makes sense to have legal counsel.
The role of the mediator
If you opt for divorce mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse must agree on a mediator. The mediator’s role is to be a neutral and unbiased facilitator, and he or she typically has extensive experience with divorce-related matters. A mediator’s role should not be to advocate for your interests or those of your spouse.
The role of an attorney
It probably makes sense for both you and your husband or wife to have independent legal counsel during divorce mediation. The primary reason is because the mediator likely cannot counsel you on your legal options, and not having an attorney might leave you vulnerable to making critical missteps. Moreover, an attorney can help you decide whether you are making the right concessions during mediation.
The role of the court
Even if you go through mediation, your agreement must be reviewed by a judge in court. A judge will either approve or reject it, and a lawyer can help you create a document that will stand up to legal standards.