Do I Use A Lawyer In A Mediation Divorce?
As a first step in weighing your options, it’s helpful to understand the differences between arguing (“litigating”) your case in court and trying to resolve it through mediation. Mediation promotes the values of cooperation and mutual respect, aiming to create an agreement between spouses that they can both live with. Litigation, on the other hand, relies on a judge ultimately deciding the issues that the parties cannot agree upon.
If you’re unable to resolve issues in your divorce through negotiation, one of the options for your case is to argue (“litigate”) it in court. This can be a costly and emotionally-taxing process, but it’s also a powerful tool for obtaining relief. Litigation generally involves a judge hearing your case and making decisions regarding custody, asset division, spousal support payments, and more. It is a more formal and less flexible way to settle your divorce than mediation or arbitration.
Mediation, on the other hand, is a less expensive and quicker way to resolve your divorce. The mediator, who is usually a lawyer, helps you work through the issues in your case and come to an agreement that works for you. It is also a good idea to have an attorney review any settlement agreements that you have reached in mediation. And while many couples opt for mediation before they go to litigation, mediation can be a poor choice in cases involving domestic violence or criminal activity. In addition, spouses who are trying to hide assets can find themselves in an impossible situation with a mediator. That’s why it’s so important to hire a skilled attorney for your mediation case.
Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process that allows you and your spouse to present their case without having to go to court. Instead, a private judge listens to the arguments and evidence that both parties present and makes a decision about the issues in your case. Typically, arbitration is more economical than litigation and can be quicker as well. Additionally, the proceedings are confidential and you will not have to publicly reveal your personal information during the process.