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Rockland & Westchester County Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Should I Retain My Own Lawyer If My Divorce is Mediated?

Should I Retain My Own Lawyer If My Divorce is Mediated?


The answer to this question depends entirely on the complexity of your divorce, the sorts of issues that need to be hammered out in mediation, and whether or not you are comfortable in a scenario where you will not be getting any legal advice. It’s important to understand that a divorce mediator cannot offer legal advice to either party in a mediation. Their role is simply to facilitate the agreement. While you may be interested in keeping costs related to your divorce down, there are specific things that you will want to know. Having an attorney advise you during a divorce mediation can help you to understand your legal exposure as regards key issues such as your best- and worst-case scenarios property, debt, alimony, child support, and child custody. In this article, the Westchester County divorce mediation attorneys at The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine will discuss the role of a personal attorney in divorce mediation and why you might consider consulting with one even when you don’t have to.

What is divorce mediation? 

Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which both parties come together in an attempt to resolve all issues related to their divorce. This includes issues such a property division, alimony, child custody and visitation, and child support payments. The role of the mediator is to act as a neutral third party who helps facilitate communication between the divorcing couple. As such, they cannot take sides or give legal advice to either party in the mediation process. For that reason, some divorcing spouses elect to hire an attorney to at least review the divorce decree before they sign off on it to ensure that they are achieving their goals within the context of their divorce settlement.

Do I need to hire an attorney if my divorce is mediated? 

While there is no requirement that you have your own attorney look over the divorce decree or advocate on your behalf during the mediation, it can be a good idea to speak to an attorney to ensure that your rights and interests are being met by the divorce settlement. Those who underestimate the strength of their legal position will end up giving away far more than they have to. Those who refuse to budge on key issues can cause mediation to break down entirely. Since there are many benefits to mediation, not the least of which is the financial costs associated with litigation, the breakdown of mediation can be avoided with the help of a personal attorney.

Your own personal attorney in a mediated divorce can help you understand key issues such as how the marital estate is divided and how child support payments are calculated. An attorney can help inform you of key issues related to your divorce so you know that you are getting a fair deal.

In most cases, attorney fees associated with a mediated divorce are much lower than attorney fees associated with a litigated divorce. So, you’re still saving money by mediating your divorce.

Talk to a Westchester County Divorce Lawyer Today 

The Westchester and Rockland County divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine represent the interests of divorcing couples. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.

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