Why Select a Divorce Attorney to be your Divorce Mediator?
Couples who are considering a divorce will often turn to divorce mediation as an effective way to amicably bring their relationship to an end. Engaging in this process allows them the chance to settle any outstanding disputes or issues that can frequently arise during a divorce, but they can do so in a somewhat more relaxed and less stressful setting than a courtroom. And in our experience at the Spodek Law Firm, mediation often proves to be a very effective method for overcoming such differences.
However, a positive outcome in mediation will most likely demand more than simply your willingness to negotiate with your spouse during the divorce. It will also require the skills and knowledge of an experienced mediator who can help guide you to a successful conclusion of your divorce.
How Does Mediation Work?
While it is true that most mediations are not directly managed by the courts, it is nevertheless a legal process. This in turn means that the assistance you can get from a professional in divorce and matrimonial law can be of tremendous benefit to you in your divorce case. In the end, a court will have to review the papers and any agreements the two parties may have come to, signing off on the final divorce judgment.
Mediation offers both spouses a formal structure in which any tensions and animosity can be reduced while the settlement is being discussed. Keep in mind that the mediator does not serve as a referee or judge during the mediation and does not have the power or authority to make decisions for either party in the divorce when it comes to important matters. Their role is to serve as an impartial, neutral party who can offer their knowledge and opinions in a way that will help the divorcing couple reach a compromise they can both accept.
Choosing a Mediator
While it is true that divorce mediators can have diverse backgrounds and training, some will be more effective than others. Any divorce – regardless of circumstances – is going to be uncomfortable and perhaps even acrimonious. When choosing a mediator, it is important to select someone who will not only help the couple keep their tempers under control, but also someone that both can trust to help them arrive at a fair and equitable settlement.
Often, your best choice for a mediator is a lawyer experienced in divorce law. Divorce lawyers who focus on divorce mediation will be well aware of what it takes to help resolve family and matrimonial disputes, whether the process involves mediation, litigation or other approaches. When it comes to divorce mediation, a divorce lawyer is the only professional who will have spent years studying the law, earning a juris doctorate and passing the state bar exam.
While it is true that a range of professionals – including therapists – can be quite useful in addressing and resolving conflicts, particularly when it comes to the needs of children, a New York divorce lawyer has a very specific perspective on divorce that can be particularly valuable during mediation. Lawyers have methods for resolving conflicts and carrying out negotiations that would not necessarily be known to these other professionals.
On a day-to-day basis, a lawyer will see up close just how custody and parenting agreements work for the couples with whom they interact. They can offer possible solutions to issues that might arise when a divorced couple wants to modify custody or parenting agreements at some later time. They can also help when this couple needs to better understand just what arrangements courts will accept when it comes to equitable distribution and child support.
If you select a lawyer to serve as a mediator, this person will have specialized in divorce proceedings and will have a great deal of knowledge about this fairly complex area of law. Most other professionals would be unable to provide you with clear and legally reliable answers when it comes to issues regarding changes in child support over time or how such adjustments might be made.
You Will Need a Lawyer Regardless
When deciding whether you want to have a divorce lawyer serve as your mediator, you should consider the fact that you are going to need legal advice from an experienced divorce lawyer in any case. This lawyer will have to work up a draft of your settlement agreement, which means if a lawyer serves as your mediator it can save time and effort at a later point in the process.
On the other hand, it is also true that even should you choose a divorce lawyer as your mediator and that lawyer creates the divorce agreement, there is a good chance he or she will advise you to engage a second attorney to review the terms of the agreement. The reason for this is that the mediator’s principal responsibility was to mediate, not to provide you – or your spouse – with legal advice.
Although mediation can offer a useful way of avoiding excessive litigation during a divorce, this does not imply that you can avoid engaging legal professionals. There are any number of complex legal issues that must be contained in any divorce agreement. This is why having a divorce lawyer serve as mediator can help reduce the problems that may have to be later corrected by the attorney reviewing the divorce agreement.
Communication is one of the most important things to consider when you are selecting a divorce mediator. You have to be able to comfortably interact with the professional you have chosen. The lawyers at the Spodek Law Firm have a vast amount of experience working with clients and mediating disputes in a way that helps lead to agreements that both parties can live with. If you have any further questions on this topic or any other divorce concerns, please feel free to contact us for a consultation. Our friendly and experienced staff will be happy to help you with your case