Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Mediator vs. Lawyer?

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Survivor9582 posted 11/29/2013 22:05 PM

I've been reading up on the costs of divorce and I'm wondering if anyone has used a mediator instead of a lawyer. Me husband and I are not at the divorce point yet, but I feel I need to know my options. Thanks!

Catwoman posted 11/30/2013 06:53 AM

Mediation is considerably less costly and can be less stressful. However, please understand some very important caveats.

First, you shouldn't mediate with someone you cannot trust. If he has been deceitful about money, especially, don't go down the mediation road.

Secondly, a mediator is only there to advise both of you on the law. They cannot counsel either party as to what is in their best interest. They are working towards a consensus, not towards any one person's best interest.

Mediation works like this: the couple has several sessions with a mediator to come to an agreement. They share financial paperwork, etc. Only after an agreement is reached is the divorce filed and approved by a judge.

Why is this important, you may ask. It is important because up and until the point of finalization by the judge, you have zero legal resource to compel things such as production of paperwork or payment of child support. So, if you are dealing with someone who is habitually deceptive or is vengeful, you would have zero legal resource to compel production of paperwork or payment of child support or other costs until the divorce is final.

You could decide to mediate and hire your own attorney to "coach" you through mediation, but you still have no legal muscle if they decide to play games.

One huge misconception about divorce is that if you hire an attorney, it automatically means a trial. This is not the case. In fact, it is rare that a divorce goes to trial. You may have a temporary orders hearing, but it is unlikely there will be a trial.

Attorneys are expensive. However, this is the rest of your financial future and that of any children you may have. I wouldn't do mediation without my own attorney, and my personal experience with mediation was one where my now-ex didn't produce requested paperwork and thought he could bully me through the process. I hired a very good attorney and got a settlement far above what I was considering settling for.

Bet he wishes he hadn't been such an ass. Too bad, so sad.

I hope that helps. If both parties are truly seeking to be fair, putting the needs of any children first and are honest, mediation can work. However, how many unremorseful WSs are seeking to be fair and honest?


cmego posted 11/30/2013 08:56 AM

I had both…a mediator and a lawyer. Plus, my mediator was a lawyer too. Ex and I negotiated with the mediator, then I turned it over to my lawyer for review. I wanted all the bases covered. It was cheaper to simply have the L review and advise instead of doing all of the back and forth work.

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.