A divorce mediation lawyer is a professional who helps couples reach a mutually agreeable settlement in their marriage dissolution case. A mediator is a neutral party who hears each spouse’s needs, proposes solutions and helps the couple communicate with each other. A mediator does not act as a representative or advocate for either spouse and is paid a modest fee, usually less than a divorce lawyer.
A successful divorce mediation requires both parties to be open to compromise and respectful. If one of the spouses is abusive or if there are safety concerns, mediation might not be appropriate and should be considered carefully. Some counties order that couples attend county-provided mediation before a judge will hear pleadings regarding child custody or other issues.
Spouses who have a strong desire to keep their marriage together and focus on what is best for their children often find success in mediation. In these cases, a mediator can help them craft a parenting plan that is consistent with state law and can make it more difficult for the spouses to argue over time sharing arrangements and other issues.
A divorce lawyer can also review any memorandum of understanding hammered out in mediation sessions and ensure that the terms are legally sound before they are formally drafted into a final settlement agreement. In addition, a divorce lawyer can ensure that each spouse understands their legal rights and protects them by making sure that the terms are equitable for both parties.