Divorce Attorneys & Mediation on Long Island
If you and your soon to be ex-spouse have decided to use divorce mediation as your method of divorce resolution you both may be wondering what role, if any, a divorce attorney plays in the mediation itself. You are not required to have a divorce attorney mediate your divorce, but you and your partner may decide to hire divorce attorneys to assist you both in the process of divorce mediation if your mediator is not also a divorce attorney. Because you know that you and your partner control the negotiating process during divorce mediation, you may be wondering what role, if any, a divorce attorney can play throughout the process.
The Attorney’s Role Before Divorce Mediation Begins
Before you and your partner even decide upon divorce mediation, either one, or both, of you may have consulted a divorce attorney. If you are considering the idea of using a divorce attorney in addition to your divorce mediator, it is best to consult this attorney in the beginning stages of the process. The divorce attorney can fully explain what divorce mediation is and what it entails, which may make it easier (or more difficult) to choose mediation. If your divorce attorney is not practiced in divorce mediation, he or she may also be able to recommend divorce mediators, however, you should be aware that divorce attorneys who are not also divorce mediators are more likely to steer you away from divorce mediation simply to earn your business for their practice.
The Attorney’s Role During the Divorce Mediation Process
If you do consult a divorce attorney during the initial stages of your divorce mediation, you may wish to keep this divorce attorney throughout the entire process. This attorney may advise you of the law in certain areas, help you review any agreement before you sign it, and eventually prepare the final documents that will be entered with the court so your divorce can be legalized.
Of great importance during the divorce mediation process is the fact that the divorce attorney should not speak for you or your partner. Rather the divorce attorney is present during the mediation as an advisor and support system. If you find yourself confused about parts of the mediation agreement or are undecided about what may be the right decision, you have the option to discuss the matter with the divorce attorney in private. He or she may make suggestions or just simply serve as a listening ear for you to discuss the issue aloud with someone and hopefully be able to reach a conclusion with which to go back to the mediation. Additionally, you may be willing to enter into agreements during the mediation without realization of the risks involved. The divorce attorney is able to explain these risks to you, and help you weigh them against the benefits to make the best decision possible.
If I Do Decide to Hire a Divorce Attorney, Will He or She Accompany Me to the Mediation Sessions?
Once you have decided to hire a divorce attorney to assist you during your mediation process, you may naturally be wondering if he or she will attend every mediation session with you. Like most other decisions during the divorce mediation process, this is a personal choice that you will discuss with your divorce attorney. Keep in mind that your divorce attorney will need to be compensated for his or her time, so the more sessions your divorce attorney has to attend, the larger your legal bill.
If you feel confident in your wants and desires and your ability to clearly communicate these to your partner and the mediator, you may decide to speak to your divorce attorney only before and after the mediation sessions. On the other hand, if you feel as though you may get overwhelmed and need to step out of the room and have someone there to talk with so you can vocalize your thoughts, you may decide to have your divorce attorney accompany you to every divorce mediation session. However, if your divorce lawyer does attend the mediation, it is important to remember that he or she is not there to participate in and make arguments for you. Rather, he or she is there solely for guidance and support, and as a potential legal advisor.
What Does My Divorce Attorney Do Once the Mediation Has Ended?
If your divorce mediator is not a divorce attorney, once you and your partner reach an agreement in your mediation, your attorney will review that agreement, and potentially prepare the finalized documents for the court. This way, you will be reassured that the agreement is valid and enforceable.
A Divorce Mediator Attorney Is Simpler and Less Expensive
As you might imagine, having a separate attorney in addition to your divorce mediator is going to add to your legal bills. The less expensive alternative is to find a divorce mediator who is also an experienced divorce attorney, familiar with the latest developments in divorce law and practice. This kind of mediator will be able to advise you as to the legal ramifications of any agreements reached during your mediation at the mediation, and not in a separate session with an outside divorce attorney.
Call 631-923-1910 for a Free Long Island Divorce Mediation Consultation
To learn more about Divorce Mediation on Long Island and how it can save you time, money and stress, visit this page: How Divorce Mediation Works and its Benefits for Families in Nassau, Suffolk, Long Island. If you would like to learn more about Divorce Mediation on Long Island, call the divorce law firm of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page for a complimentary divorce mediation consultation. The compassionate divorce lawyers at the firm are skilled at all methods of divorce resolution, including litigation, mediation and collaborative divorce.
For more information, visit our Comprehensive Guide to Long Island Divorce Mediation.