Deciding to get a divorce is very difficult regardless of the circumstances or where you live. Some may think that the decision is the most challenging part of the process of divorce. Choosing whether to use a divorce lawyer or a mediator can prove to be an even more difficult one if you are unaware of the difference between the two. When you learn the difference, it might be easier to make the right decision for you.
The role of a lawyer is to advocate for the one that hired them while striving to achieve the most favorable outcome for them. The lawyer only represents one party. There are various steps involved when lawyers litigate a divorce, and they vary from county to county, state to state, and couple to couple. Each spouse hires their own lawyer typically in order to try and resolve and negotiate the end of the marriage. Both lawyers enter into negotiations regarding the issues on behalf of the clients. If an agreement cannot be reached, the divorce will go on through family court.
A mediator is a third party that is neutral who conducts the proceedings of mediation. Their role in a divorce is to assist both spouses in negotiating, identifying, and coming to an acceptable arrangement for both on various issues and financial matters required to end the marriage without going to court. During a mediation session, the spouses have all the control over the decisions and the divorce agreement, but the mediator participates actively in these negotiations.
If you are good friends with your spouse and would like to avoid fighting in court, the best option for you would be mediation. This is important, especially when both parties would like to maintain stability because they have children. However, if the opposite is the case, and you do not feel safe due to issues like domestic violence from the other party, you should use a divorce lawyer. If a restraining order is in effect, it may not be possible to be in a room with your spouse, and mediation cannot be successful.
Divorce attorneys are more expensive than the option of mediation and have a faster resolution. The use of mediation, however, can save you and your partner a lot of money. If you and your partner have a sit-down and discuss the matter of child support and time-sharing as a parent instead of litigants, you may be in a position to make better choices. Avoiding the stress and emotional pain of court may maintain a relationship that is civil with your partner for the sake of the kids. However, suppose a spouse is mentally incapacitated. In that case, an addict or has any neurological condition that would render them incapable of making decisions soundly. You might need to hire a divorce lawyer because they may be incapable of participating in mediation.
Mediation allows both parties to discuss and solve their issues in ways customized to their specific needs. Each spouse has a direct input hence is likely to be fair for both. A lawyer may be necessary when you have evidence that your spouse is hiding assets or debts from you. Your lawyer can bring a motion that compels your partner to bring forth documentation that would prove if that is the case.
Mediation often takes less time than divorces that lawyers handle. Since they take place in real-time, you can conclude your divorce in just a few months. If one of you is unwilling to try mediation, the other option is getting a divorce lawyer.