Divorce Mediator or a Divorce Lawyer
Which is Better for Your Situation
What Is The Difference Between Divorce Litigation With An Experienced Divorce Lawyer / Attorney And Mediation Using A Mediator Who Is Not A Lawyer?
In order to understand the difference, litigation is any case that is filed in court, whether you go to court or not. Non-litigation is considered transactional, in other words writing up a contract between the parties. So the term litigation is not in itself a negative concept, it is just a term that describes that the case is filed in court, which all divorces must be filed.
Mediation is a process that is required in Florida for all divorces that provides an opportunity for husband and wife to settle. When mediation is done at the right time and with ample discovery and information, it is successful and allows individuals to avoid trial.
DIVORCE LITIGATION (with a Lawyer):
- The process takes time and usually resolves within 9-12 months, with an experienced family law attorney you will get a strategy and time-line for the case so you can anticipate the length.
- The fees you pay will usually be higher than mediation because you will be guided through the process, provided advice on risks and benefits of actions and likelihood of success as well as advice on how to proceed, settlement offer and necessary experts to achieve your goals. However, since assets are at stake, the benefits of working with an experienced attorney can potentially more than make up for the fee difference due to a better settlement for you.
- You make the decisions and never abdicate your decision making to your divorce attorney. Your lawyer is your guide, providing legal advice and the strategy to achieve your goals. The judge is a decision maker and in most cases necessary when your spouse is unreasonable.
- Communication between parties is never discouraged, it can be helpful to resolve many issues. However, in cases of mental, physical and emotional abuse, or in highly contentious divorces, many times the communication can be manipulative and detrimental and therefore it may not be advisable because it is not in the client’s best interest.
- Experienced divorce lawyers are trained in the emotional aspects of the divorce as well as the psychological affects of divorce for their clients, there is no special “emotional” training mediators receive for divorce cases.
- In the event husband and wife cannot agree, a trial may be necessary. In our experience this is better than settling for only what the other side will agree to, which is usually not consistent with the law.
- Hostility and bitterness is not caused by the legal process, this is caused by the deteriorated relationship and uncontrolled emotions. This cannot always be repaired but counseling, individually and with your children is the often best way to avoid this.
- Children will always be affected by their parent’s divorce, the best way to minimize the effect on your children is to participate in counseling.
- Divorce should never be a win-lose, however if you do not have goals and/or a strategy to achieve them, you will lose.
MEDIATION WITH AN EXPERIENCED DIVORCE ATTORNEY:
- You will have a strategy, case plan with goals and a time frame for mediation to be scheduled based upon the necessary financial documentation you need, and or information for the children.
- Mediation without an attorney may be less money out of your pocket in the beginning, however, the future costs to try and fix a poorly written or vague agreement is usually far more than doing it right the first time.
- Mediation without an attorney does not allow you to control the process any more than with an attorney, except that you do not understand the process, so you are unable to contribute effectively. Further, if your spouse is controlling and has intimidated you to attend mediation without an attorney, this often is so that they can control the process to his advantage.
- Mediators have no more special training in emotional intelligence or psychology and in many cases less than an experienced divorce attorney.
- A mediator cannot advise you of your rights under Florida law, they are neutral and cannot advocate for you or tell you that you are entering into a bad settlement.
- There is nothing particular about mediation without an attorney that promotes a better relationship for divorcing spouses and their children.
- It is not a win-win situation when you are not equipped with understanding your rights because of using a non-lawyer mediator.
Talk To Us & Find Out What’s Best For Your Situation
We welcome your questions and want to understand your situation to help you move forward and achieve the peace of mind that comes with having everything done properly and efficiently. Call our office at (904) 241-0012 with questions and/or a description of your situation to see if we can assist. Call or fill out the form above on this page to schedule a consultation if you are ready to explore your options.
Even in amicable situations, it is important to have legal representation at your side to ensure the divorce process goes smoothly and your interests are protected. At Florida Women’s Law Group, we advocate for women in the divorce process. Understand your rights, know your legal options and pursue the best way forward for you and your family.