Mediation is an alternative method of getting a divorce in California without worrying about court proceedings and fees. It is a voluntary process that the couple manages themselves with the help of a neutral third party known as a mediator. Through this process, couples can choose to hire a lawyer or not. This decision will depend mainly on the complexity of the case.
When to hire a lawyer
Despite the cooperative nature of mediation, wherein couples strive to make decisions that will benefit everyone involved, each party still has interests to protect. Hiring a lawyer can help safeguard those interests. They will provide advice on existing laws, review all proposed agreements and advocate for your rights.
An experienced family law attorney will also help you gather the necessary financial documents so you can negotiate fairly. This includes all sources of income, expenses, debts and assets acquired during the marriage. Furthermore, they may also be able to detect any unfair practices or hidden information that could lead to an unfair outcome.
Lastly, a lawyer can also ensure that any agreements you make in mediation will be legally binding upon the completion of your divorce. Bear in mind that mediation is an informal process of separation, meaning without properly writing, signing and notarizing all documents, you may be at risk of not receiving the outcome that you desire.
What to look for in your divorce lawyer
Given how sensitive and delicate a divorce is, you must find the perfect attorney that will fit your needs. Start by assessing the lawyer’s experience in family law and divorce mediation. You should also make sure that you are confident in their ability to represent your interests, as well as comfortable with their communication style.
Although hiring a lawyer may not be necessary for all divorce mediation cases, it may be a good idea for couples to consider their different options before making any decisions. Whether you choose to hire an attorney or not, it is important to remember that having someone who will look after your interests and help protect your rights is key.