Mediation lawyers can play a role in many different types of legal negotiations from commercial, employment, labor, and other disputes which are simpler to navigate than those requiring additional procedures or evidence.
In the case of a divorce, a mediation lawyer aims to make the process less taxing financially and mentally on the couple and their children. Divorces can go on for years when litigation gets heated and emotions run high when the couple cannot agree on a custody schedule. When each wants sole custody, the fight often turns bitter and children are put in a terrible position while parents try to curry favor with the judge. When each parent is worried about losing custody and the child is caught in the middle, he or she can feel culpable for the divorce. There is a myriad of issues that can arise to inflame emotions, lengthening the process, and driving up costs.
Divorce mediation offers a different approach. The attorney’s goal is to make a difficult situation easier to manage for everyone involved. Divorces become expensive when the couple is encouraged to fight. The longer the battle goes on, the more attorneys earn. A mediation lawyer does not provide legal advice while acting as a mediator. Instead, he helps the spouse work through points of contention so progress is made to put together a settlement agreement.
Another benefit to handling divorce by mediation is the amount of time it takes to complete the process. When divorces drag out for years, the couple’s lives are on hold. Decisions about living circumstances are tied to a financial resolution. Having a relationship with another person is complicated, especially when that relationship had something to do with the divorce in the first place. Each person wants to move on with his or her life yet cannot make progress until financial and custody issues are resolved.
Ultimately, a friendlier progress leads to faster healing. When the spouses can agree to terms without litigation, they can part peacefully and have a healthier relationship while raising their children. There will still be many future decisions made as the kids grow older from medical treatment to college to after school activities. If the couple can speak civilly with one another, the child will have an easier time adapting and flourishing after the couple separates.
The process may begin with the mediator explaining his or her role and qualification followed by the signing of the mediation agreement. In many states, a law degree is not required to act as a mediator; however, a mediator is still required to complete both an ethics class and education in judicial law.
Third Party Involvement
Sometimes the intervention of third parties is needed to work through finances and custody issues. In the event the couple does not make progress or one person refuses to negotiate, the couple may be advised to seek alternative counsel. Mediation only works when the couple is willing to make compromises leading to an agreement.
Although each spouse will work with an individual mediation attorney, at times other parties are brought into the mix to help negotiate different parts of the agreement. Whether a case is pending in court or not, the couple may meet either informally or in a scheduled conference setting.