Divorce is a heavy and emotionally traumatic experience, and finding the right professional to oversee you through it all is vital. But is an attorney or a mediator a must-have?

This article will help you compare and contrast their roles whilst facilitating your choice. The decision depends on factors from the level of conflict with your spouse to the outcome you hope to achieve.

Knowing the role each will bring to you will help in proceeding with some surety. Whether you retain a divorce attorney or use a mediator, it’s important to have professional guidance for one of the toughest times in your life.

Divorce Lawyers vs Mediators

Divorce lawyers handle cases by providing legal advice to you, representing you in a court of law, and negotiating settlements on your behalf. These are professionals who have learned the ropes around the court and will ensure that your rights are paramount and well taken care of during this painful experience. They also specialize in handling cases that are difficult to handle, involving massive assets, custody battles, and alimony.

Mediators serve as neutral third parties who assist the divorcing couple in arriving at a mutually agreed-upon decision. They facilitate open and constructive communication in such a manner that provides a solution for both. Unlike divorce attorneys, mediators do not provide legal advice or represent either in the court of law. Quite to the contrary, they assist the couple by enabling them to have a broader look at the available options.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

A divorce lawyer knows his or her craft regarding family law. He or she can provide you with excellent legal advice on your case. The implications of most actions are clearly explained in terms of rights and duties, and the likely repercussions can be obtained from the action you might take. You will, therefore, be in a position to make decisions that will work in your favor. Furthermore, your divorce attorney will file all legal papers and other documents.

However, there are some disadvantages involved. Chief among them is the cost. Divorce lawyers generally charge clients by the hour and their fees can quickly add up in complicated cases or those that drag on due to a protracted legal battle. Additionally, the interference of lawyers can worsen the conflict between spouses and even reduce the possibility of their finding a middle ground. In summary, the professional training of divorce lawyers is to protect their clients.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Mediator

There are several advantages to working with a mediator. For one, mediators are trained to establish open and respectful communication between spouses, allowing them to air their grievances and wishes without the fear of being belittled or intimidated. They allow couples to build confidence in each other to arrive at a just and mutually acceptable settlement. Mediation may be less adversarial and less confrontational than the usual court procedure, thus the process is less stressful and less emotionally draining.

Cost-effectiveness is another advantage of the presence of a mediator. This is much cheaper compared to hiring divorce lawyers because fewer billable hours are involved. It can also be much quicker because one does not have to wait for dates allowed for a court hearing. Also, by choosing mediation one could always keep the decision power with them rather than assigning it to the judge.

However, mediation does not work for all cases. For instance, it may not be viable if the spouses have immense power imbalances or if there have been cases of domestic violence in the marriage. Mediation equally won’t work where either or both parties refuse to compromise or negotiate in good faith.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between a Lawyer and a Mediator

First, consider how complex your case can be. Are there great assets involved? Or do you have complex financial arrangements or child custody disputes? In these instances, you will most probably need a divorce lawyer to protect your interests. Then there is another situation where the level of conflict between you and your spouse may be too high, and therefore, you need legal counsel for advocacy and representation in court.

But if you and your spouse can communicate and cooperate, and if you are both seriously interested in ironing out problems in a peaceful way, mediation can work. It is even useful when you have children – through mediation, you and your spouse can work to arrive at a common parenting plan that spotlights your children’s best interests.

If you want to have some control in the decision-making process and a say in the final settlement, then mediation is considered better. However, if you desire that your legal rights and entitlements should be duly protected, then you need a divorce lawyer.

How Divorce Lawyers vs Mediators Handle Negotiations

Divorce lawyers normally use positional bargaining. They might make an extreme demand that the other side responds to in kind. Then, each side makes concessions until they reach an agreement. This method can be slow and may even lead to conflicts between the parties. However, divorce lawyers are better placed in terms of legal knowledge and a deep understanding of their client’s interests. Their work can ensure there is no violation of rights during the negotiations.

In contrast, mediators employ a far more collaborative method of negotiation. They facilitate open and constructive communication between the spouses. They encourage the generation of solutions that will satisfy both the spouses’ interests and other needs. This more cooperative process often encourages creativity and flexibility in scripting solutions to fit the couple.

Success Rates of Divorce Lawyers vs Mediators

Success rates cannot always be quantified, as success tends to be defined case by case with divorce lawyers and mediators. A divorce lawyer might be said to have had a successful outcome if a good settlement was obtained or one side of the court case won.

On the other hand, mediators take sides with none and are primarily focused on the fair and mutually acceptable agreement between spouses. The success or failure of mediation is defined in the terms of a couple’s going to an agreement desirable to both spouses.

Ultimately, your divorce process will be a result of your unique circumstances and the ability of your chosen professional to apprehend your situation, satisfy your needs, and achieve your goals.

Need a Divorce Lawyer? We Can Help!

Finding professional help during this difficult time is very important. A well-trained professional will be able to guide you in making informed choices that lay the groundwork for a better future.

Remember, this decision is going to have a great impact on the outcome of your divorce. It is in your best interest to therefore take your time, weigh your options, and choose which route best fits your situation.

A consultation can be enlightening. Allow us to refer you to stellar local legal help! Our representatives are available 24/7 to refer you to a local divorce lawyer. Call them at (866) 345-6784 or submit the form on our homepage to get started!

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