Mediation Consultation

Just because you are mediating doesn’t mean you should go it alone in your divorce. There are many reasons to have a knowledgeable, independent attorney advise you as you pursue divorce mediation.

Happy bank manager shaking hands with a client after successful agreement in the office.

What is the Consulting Attorney’s Role in Mediation?

In mediation, you and your spouse negotiate the terms of your divorce directly, guided by a neutral mediator. This approach can be both cost-effective and empowering. However, if you don’t understand your legal rights and obligations, the process can be confusing and intimidating. That is where your consulting attorney comes in. Your consulting attorney will make sure that you understand how the law applies to your particular case, help you analyze different settlement options, and give you advice to help you achieve your goals within the mediation process.

Why Do I Need a Consulting Attorney?

There are many reasons to engage a consulting attorney in your divorce mediation:

  • To make sure you are fully informed – Your consulting attorney will explain the relevant laws and how they apply to your unique situation, so that you can be empowered to negotiate and make decisions in mediation. Your consulting attorney will also help you identify any financial information that is missing which may be relevant to your divorce settlement so that you can receive and understand it before making any decisions. This allows you to have confidence that the settlement you achieve is based on a full understanding of the relevant facts and law.
  • To look out for your particular interests – Unlike your mediator, who is committed to neutrality, your consulting attorney is focused entirely on helping you achieve a settlement that is in your best interest and meets your goals.
  • To evaluate different settlement options – Divorce settlements can be complicated. Your consulting attorney will help you analyze different proposals with the law and your particular goals as a backdrop, so that you know what you have to gain from each proposal as well as what you might be giving up. Your attorney will make sure you understand the full impact of any proposed settlement before you agree to it.
  • To review your final divorce agreement – Your consulting attorney will review the agreement drafted by your mediator before you sign it to make sure that it accurately reflects your understanding and avoids any potential pitfalls.

How Can I Make the Best Use of My Consulting Attorney?

A good relationship between the consulting attorney and the client can make divorce mediation more efficient and productive, and lead to more satisfactory results. Here is how you can make the most of this relationship:

  • Choose an attorney who understands and supports the mediation process. Most clients who choose mediation want to settle their divorce in a more cooperative and less adversarial manner than the traditional courtroom approach. For mediation to be successful, the consulting attorney must not only respect and support that decision, but also understand and believe in the benefits of mediation. A good consulting attorney will help you advocate for yourself while also seeking out areas for compromise to achieve a mediated result that satisfies both parties. At the Law Offices of ToniAnn Grande, we have years of experience helping clients achieve their desired results through the mediation process.
  • Engage your consulting attorney early in the mediation process. This allows you to be fully informed at the start of negotiations, before any commitments are made. There is nothing more frustrating than spending many hours and thousands of dollars negotiating an agreement in mediation, only to have one spouse change his or her mind after obtaining legal advice late in the process.
  • Keep your attorney informed. Make sure that your attorney has access to all financial and other information that is shared in mediation, so that she can give you the best advice possible for your situation. Give your attorney updates after each mediation session so that she understands the dynamics at play. Most importantly, make sure that your attorney understands what you want to achieve in the negotiation, so that her advice is tailored to your unique priorities.