Choosing a mediated divorce is a wise decision but enlisting the help of a consulting attorney provides an added level of protection and guidance on decisions that will impact the rest of your life.
Even if a mediator is a lawyer, a mediator must remain neutral and not advocate for either side, during the mediation process.
A mediator is going to help you and your spouse come to a decision together in a peaceful way that is beneficial for your family. If you know that you are not necessarily the best at advocating for yourself or negotiating with your spouse, it could be helpful to hire a consulting attorney to advise you and coach you so you are better prepared for your mediation sessions and advocate for yourself.
A consulting attorney can also give you specific legal advice or recommendations which your mediator cannot do.
For example, your attorney can help you figure out how to pay your spousal support and timetable after an amount has been decided upon in mediation. Through the mediation process, you are going to come to decisions that have legal ramifications. Your consulting attorney is there to support and ensure that your decisions are thought out and fully informed in a way which may feel more supportive than a neutral mediator can provide.
Perhaps most importantly, your consulting attorney can review your divorce agreement. Even if you didn’t have an attorney up until this point, it is important that you hire one to read through and explain everything written in your divorce agreement and filing. These papers are often long and confusing and will impact your life now and for years to come. It’s worthwhile to hire an attorney to make sure that you understand everything the document says and what it means now and down the road.