You have been mediating your divorce for three months, and the break-up is almost done. The agreement states that you and your ex will have alternating holidays with the children, that you will stay relatively close to each other, and that you will keep dividing the mortgage payments.
But How Can You Tell if this is the Right Agreement for You and Your Family?
Mediating keeps you in control and enables you to produce a customized solution that considers each family member– and, will be the most benefitting result in your situation. But you should still hire a mediation friendly attorney as your teammate. Taking the counsel of an attorney will guarantee that the divorce agreement is educated, enforceable and just. Your attorney is there to evaluate your situation, explaining the law pertaining to you, answering your questions, give recommendations, to advise you through, assist you to make rational decisions and ensure you know precisely what you’re signing.
What is the Need for a Lawyer if You are Mediating?
The mediator can be perfect at assisting you in discussing your family’s worries and fears and assisting you by drawing up an amicable agreement for the divorce. They might be able to give you essential, related information about laws concerning divorce. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter what their primary profession, they need to remain biased, and as such, can’t give you legal advice. Since your lawyer comprehends the ins and outs of family law, they can assist you in deciding whether specific provisions be reasonable for your family. For instance, maybe your agreement stipulates that you are required to pay 15% of your take-home pay in child support to your ex. This might seem like a big percentage, but the fact is, the state where you live child support statute demands you pay 17% of your take-home pay. The attorney will understand these details and will let you know if your agreement is fair or not. Your attorney can also point out any details that are lacking or possible situations that the mediator may not have discovered. For instance, your agreement states that each parent can’t move “25 miles” from where they now live. Your attorney might ask numerous defining questions, like:
- Where is the children’s school? Can they honestly go 25 miles?
- Do the parents really plan on moving?
- Can they ever move?
- How much notification are they required to give prior to planning a move?
- Does this still apply when the children go to college?
- If the state is inside of 25 miles can you still move?
These defining questions can help bring to light the important details that leads to the agreement being able to be read, comprehended, and understood by anyone that reads it.
When Do You Include Your Attorney?
If you decide to involve an attorney from the very beginning, your counsel is going to be a consulting attorney. The consulting attorney can detail what the ins and outs are in your jurisdiction so you can super prepared for mediation. They can speak to you about your worry’s and concerns and can assist you in figuring out what decisions are required to be made without delay. They can also explain questions, give you input between mediation discussions, and assist you in evaluating your choices to make knowledgeable decisions. If you choose to involve your attorney in the last stage of meditation, they’ll be a reviewing attorney. Since the divorce agreement is created using legal language, they can detail it to you in laymen’s terms, so you know precisely what you are signing prior to you signing it. Since they were not part of the mediation process, the reviewing attorney can take a new look and determine if it’s lacking any important details. They can perform reality tests and ask difficult questions that you might not have thought of during mediation. And because they are well versed in family law, they can instruct you how your agreement might differ from the law and if the agreement satisfies your objectives. The divorce agreement is a critical document and can change your life in the coming years. You need to understand every word of the agreement. Be sure you specifically go through it.
Why You Need a Mediator and a Lawyer?
Since lawyers and mediators serve very distinctive roles, in order to mediate your divorce successful, its necessary to have a mediator and a lawyer. In order for you to negotiate your divorce, you’ll need to comprehend your legal responsibilities and rights. You’re required to understand how child support is determined and if alimony will be an issue in the divorce. You’re required to understand your options for the division of your property by your state law. In a nutshell, you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of what you’ll be allowed to get and what you’ll need to provide in your divorce. Legal advice fills in the void of what you know when you begin your divorce, and what you’ll need to understand to negotiate your divorce without being cleaned out. Since the mediator can’t give you legal advice, you are required to have a lawyer to do that on your behalf. You are also required to have a lawyer to create all of your divorce papers for you. In a lot of places, the only paper your mediator will create for you is the Mediated Settlement Agreement. However, that’s only one of the papers needed in your divorce. You’ll need a lawyer to create all the others Up to this point, you might be wonder, “Alright. I need a lawyer. Nevertheless, if there is going to be negotiating in mediation regardless, why is a mediator needed?” There is a very simple answer. If you both would have created an agreement on by yourselves, you would have already done it. THAT’S why a mediator is needed. Certainly, you can let your lawyer do all of the negotiating on your behalf and avoid mediation completely. But doing so has some severe drawbacks.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer During Divorce Mediation
There are many other reasons why hiring a lawyer during your divorce mediation might be a good idea including:
- To fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities
- To receive legal advice
- To know your options for important issues like child support and spousal maintenance calculations, property rights, etc.
- To draft your divorce documents
- To help you understand the consequences of your decisions
- To review your divorce documents before you sign them
- Karen Covy, et al. “Divorce Mediation: Do You Need a Mediator AND a Lawyer?” Karen Covy, 11 Dec. 2019, karencovy.com/understanding-divorce-mediation-process-need-mediator-lawyer/.
- “Mediating Your Divorce? Do You Still Need an Attorney?” Mediate.com – Find Mediators – World’s Leading Mediation Information Site, www.mediate.com/articles/RosenthalJ1.cfm.
Speak with our Divorce Mediation Attorney in Scottsdale & Phoenix, AZ
Moshier Law should be your choice when you need the best divorce mediator in Scottsdale. An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.