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Mediation and the Role of Your Attorney

If you and your spouse choose mediation as a means of dissolving your marriage, you might be wondering if you still need an attorney and what role he or she might play in the process. While you are not required to have an attorney present for your mediation sessions, it would be wise to have a legal advocate with you to ensure your rights are protected and, if there are any particularly complex issues involved in your situation, he or she can advise you on the consequences of any possible settlement terms. Remember, the mediator is a neutral third party who will not be advocating for you or your spouse's best interests. Instead, the mediator's role is to help divorcing couples work on cooperating and negotiating to achieve mutually agreeable resolution.

Finding the Right Attorney

When choosing an attorney to assist you throughout the mediation process, it is crucial to find one who actually supports it. Not all divorce attorneys have extensive experience with mediation and might find it difficult to focus on working toward a compromise. You need an attorney who is willing to accept that mediation involves compromise, but will also help you weigh your options and understand your legal rights.

To ensure you are hiring the right attorney, prepare some questions for your initial consultation:

  • Has he or she ever worked with clients who went through court-ordered of private mediation? Knowing how much experience your prospective attorney has with mediation is an important factor in your choice of legal representation. Ask if these cases resulted in successful negotiations. How the attorney speaks about the process or any past experiences will tell you a lot about how much respect he or she has for it.
  • Does he or she have any training in mediation? An attorney can be trained as a mediator or trained in how to represent clients throughout the course of mediation. If your prospective attorney is experienced in handling such cases and shows a lot of support for it, this might not be necessary, but it is still a good sign that your attorney is interested in the process and understands it well enough to support you as you move forward with it.

Even if you decide not to bring an attorney with you to your sessions, you should, at minimum, seek independent legal advice before you begin mediation, during mediation, and prior to signing any agreements. Depending on how complex your situation is, this level of involvement might suffice.

The Benefits of Having an Attorney in Mediation

Still not sure about hiring legal assistance during mediation? Below are some of the benefits of involving an attorney:

  • You will have someone to advocate for you
  • Your attorney will be responsible for bringing and organizing all necessary documents
  • Having counsel will help you feel supported and safe even when things get heated
  • You will have a more objective person on your side who will help you consider the big picture.
  • Your attorney will help ensure the agreed upon terms you reached are properly recorded
  • Your attorney will help you evaluate offers and proposals put forward

Mediation Attorneys in Manchester

Mediation is a more cooperative, less contentious method for couples to divorce and at Sekella Law, PLLC, our Manchester family law attorneys understand the value of mediation and are dedicated to providing quality legal aid that is backed by years of experience. Our team of family law attorneys is not only knowledgeable, but passionate about assisting clients in navigating every step of their family law case.

Contact our law firm today at (603) 686-7229 to schedule a preliminary case review.

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SekellaLaw, PLLC
222 River Rd
Manchester, NH 03104-2421

Phone: 603-505-4062
Fax: 1-603-623-0399
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