If the ADR Process is Neutral, Why do I Need a Lawyer?
For those who have chosen alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to resolve their divorce or other family law legal disputes, is it necessary to hire an attorney as well? There is no correct answer to this question, but there are a litany of considerations which can help you decide whether or not hiring personal legal counsel is a good idea for your case. There are many advantages to hiring a lawyer within the alternative dispute resolution process as well as several different ways that a qualified divorce and family law attorney can work for you.
The alternative dispute resolution attorneys of Jacobs Berger offer personalized and dynamic legal solutions for our clients across Morris County and all of Northern New Jersey. We believe that alternatives to litigation based divorce including mediation and arbitration are a great choice for some individuals who value an amicable outcome to their conflict.
Call our office today to learn more about alternative dispute resolution and to find out how we can help in a confidential and comprehensive case assessment.
ADR Lawyers Define Mediators vs. Mediation Attorneys
The most common form of litigation-free conflict resolution our Randolph ADR lawyers practice is mediation. The mediation process is relatively fast, inexpensive, and is non-binding. This flexibility and convenience makes mediation an attractive option for many clients. However, the role of your attorney in the mediation process can be confusing. There are two ways our attorneys may serve you in the mediation process:
Mediation Attorneys – Our attorneys are qualified to act as mediators within your mediation process. In this role, we will represent both parties in an impartial manner.
Personal Attorneys – We may instead serve you individually as your divorce or family law attorney. It is not possible for a single attorney or law firm to act both as your mediation attorneys and personal attorney as this would create a conflict of interest.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer in ADR Processes?
As referenced earlier, there is no straightforward answer to this question. It is possible to navigate the ADR process successfully without the advocacy of a personal lawyer. However, there are several reasons why hiring a lawyer may be the best way to protect your legal rights and seek the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Many mediators and arbitrators are not attorneys. Unless you have gone the route of hiring a mediation attorney, there might not be an attorney present at your alternative dispute resolution hearings at all without hiring a personal attorney. For disputes involving complex issues such as child custody, child support, division of marital assets, and alimony, the absence of a lawyer should be a red flag.
You are entering into a legal contract. Divorce agreements and other resolutions to ADR proceedings generally result in a signed agreement or contract. Just like you shouldn’t talk to the police without an attorney, it is a great idea not to sign anything without speaking to an attorney as well.
Alternative Conflict Resolution Attorneys Discuss Considerations When Hiring a Lawyer
Beyond deciding that it is a good idea to hire an attorney, what are some important considerations to keep in mind when selecting the right attorney for you?
- You attorney should be pro-alternative conflict resolution. Even in today’s day and age, some attorneys and law firms do not believe in the virtue of mediation and arbitration. Make sure your attorney is on board with your preferred conflict resolution method
- Consider whether you would prefer a personal attorney or a mediation attorney to represent both parties. Either option ensures that a practicing attorney is protecting your legal rights, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both
- Ask about your prospective attorney’s experience in the ADR process. It is one thing to preach mediation and arbitration, and another thing entirely to practice them
- Has the attorney received special training for mediation or other alternative conflict resolution methodologies?
At the end of the day, securing the services of a qualified and experienced Madison alternative conflict resolution attorney will give you the peace of mind that you need during divorce or other family law legal proceedings.
Contact our Alternative Conflict Resolution Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our mediation and arbitration attorneys understand that no two divorces or family law matters are the same. We take pride in offering flexible and effective legal service for Morris County clients and across Northern New Jersey. If you are looking for a team of attorneys who are dedicated to serving your unique needs and concerns, look no further. Our lawyers are qualified both as attorneys and mediators, and will work with you in whatever way we can to protect your legal rights and secure a desirable outcome to your issues.
Contact us online or call our Morristown offices by dialing (973) 710-4366 today for a comprehensive and confidential case assessment with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys about the possibility of using alternative conflict resolution for your disputes.