Many people initially think that when they use the mediation process to develop the terms of their divorce settlement, they won’t be using an attorney. Then they learn that consulting attorneys are highly recommended, and often find out that their spouse will be using one. They wonder if they need one just to keep up.
To understand why consulting attorneys are recommended so strongly in divorce mediation, it is helpful to look at the role played by a consulting attorney in divorce mediation in Massachusetts.
Your Consulting Attorney Provides Advice for Your Particular Situation
Some mediators will explain the law to couples during the mediation process, and some may not. Whether they explain the applicable laws or not, however, they will not give you any advice. They are not allowed to. Their role is to remain absolutely neutral.
During divorce mediation, you and your former partner will be making all the decisions about important issues that have a major effect on your life. You will develop an agreement that is just as binding as if the terms had been issued by a judge.
Before making those decisions, you should consider getting advice from a legal advocate who has seen how different divorce terms play out in real life. A consulting attorney can help you determine the choices that offer the most benefits based on your circumstances and legal realities.
Your Consulting Attorney is Focused on Your Interests
Your mediator might be very nice, but remember that the mediator is not focused on protecting your rights the way a consulting attorney would be. When you hire a personal legal advisor, you gain an ally who looks out for your interests and provides support. While your consulting attorney is on your side at all times, they will also be able to provide a reality check because they understand how the law balances the rights of both parties in divorce.
Your Consulting Attorney Explains the Fine Print
When you and your former partner reach a consensus on issues, those issues are incorporated in a Marital Settlement Agreement. Once you sign that agreement, it is legally binding.
Before signing, your consulting attorney can review every last sentence of that agreement to make sure you understand all the ramifications. You will know exactly what you are signing and how it is likely to affect your future. You will also know whether you are within your legal rights to request something different.
If the mediator missed something or drew up the agreement in a way that did not fully capture all the terms you and your former partner discussed, your consulting attorney can catch the omissions and get the corrections made.
An Experienced Consulting Attorney Protects You During and After Divorce
Working with a dedicated consulting attorney makes the divorce process less stressful because your legal advisor can tell you what to expect at each step of the way, and they can help you feel confident that you are making the right choices. By explaining and analyzing your options, your attorney protects your future with advice tailored to your needs and rights.
At Koiles Pratt Family Law Group, our team of skilled divorce attorneys understand how to help you emerge from divorce mediation in the best position to move forward. To talk to us about how we can assist as mediation consulting attorneys, contact us.