What is the difference between mediation and divorce? Can I get divorced without hiring a lawyer and only use a mediator? If I do mediation do I still have to go to court? These are some of the most common questions I get on a daily basis.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, where parties can sit down with a neutral and impartial third party to resolve their differences. When it comes to divorce mediation, a mediator can help the parties determine how they want to divide their debts and assets, handle child custody, parenting time, spousal maintenance, and any other issues that may arise during the divorce process.
Is a mediator guaranteed to keep you and your spouse out of court? No, but it is possible, if successful, then court can be avoided entirely. Even if after mediation there are certain issues that are not resolved, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Issues that have been settled in mediation can stay settled, even if court involvement is necessary.
Now, will you need a lawyer? It is not required. You can go through mediation and obtain a divorce without an attorney, but it is recommended that you utilize the services of an attorney to review the terms of the agreement reached between you and your spouse during the. mediation process. The mediator doesn’t represent you or your spouse, but your attorney does, and can advise if anything in a proposed mediated agreement needs to be revised.
The bottom line is that mediation can help parties obtain a divorce while minimizing conflict and without the need to ever to go to court, which means that the process is faster and less expensive, allowing you to save money and begin a new chapter of your life.