Mediation is often a lower-cost, less acrimonious alternative to litigating a divorce. A skilled mediator can help parties communicate, focus their issues, and ultimately resolve their matter before any involvement in the court system. It is a very useful process and one that I recommend to most clients.
Mediators, by design, have limitations. In order to be effective, it is of the utmost importance that a mediator remain impartial. Because of that, a mediator is not an advocate and cannot give legal advice. A mediator cannot tell you if you have made a good deal or tell you what you would be likely to expect at court. While a mediator can give you general information on the law, only an attorney can provide specific advice on how to apply the law to your personal situation.
An experienced mediation review attorney who understands the mediation process and shares your goal of reaching agreement is an invaluable ally in the process. While most of the time, your attorney will not participate in the mediation process, they can help prepare you to negotiate on your own behalf, both before and after each session. Most litigants, through no fault of their own, have little understanding of how to make decisions on child custody, support, alimony, and equitable division of property. A mediator can explain the issue but only an attorney can give you advice about what kind of agreement is reasonable to make.
If you are going through mediation, contact me to discuss review options. I offer flat fee arrangements for mediation review and uncontested divorce representation. I also provide mediation services if you are in need of a mediator.