The Role of Attorneys in the Divorce Mediation Process
Mediation is a great alternative to litigation based divorce for many New Jerseyans. Additionally, mediation can be used for a number of other family law matters including child custody, division of marital assets, and much more. While many clients understand how mediation works at a high level, they are often less clear on the role of attorneys within the mediation process. There are two primary ways an attorney can be involved: as a mediation attorney or as independent counsel during the mediation process.
Our firm views mediation as a communicative, cooperative, and effective method of resolving legal disputes. Unlike some firms who offer mediation as a token, our mediation attorneys believe in the mediation process and are uniquely qualified to act as either mediator or as your personal attorney.
Call our office today to learn more about mediation and how we may be able to best serve your needs in a confidential and comprehensive Strategic Planning Session.
Mediation Lawyers Act as Mediators
A common way that our Madison mediation lawyers are involved in the mediation process is as a neutral mediator. In other words, our attorneys are qualified to act as mediators for legal disputes. While all mediators are qualified to hear the details of your case and render a decision, it can be advantageous to work with a practicing New Jersey divorce and family law attorney in this capacity.
It is important to understand that existing clients or any individuals who have previously worked with an attorney may not use them as a neutral mediator in the future. This is because mediators must remain impartial and represent both parties in the mediation process.
Our Madison mediation attorneys will strive to use their intimate knowledge of New Jersey statutes to offer a fair recommendation for your legal disputes. Because mediation attorneys are up to date with current laws and decisions, the recommendation will be close to what you can expect from a court hearing in front of a judge without the added time and expense.
Divorce and Family Law Mediation Attorneys Act as Independent Counsel
Beyond acting as mediators, our Randolph divorce and family law mediation attorneys will frequently take the role of independent counsel during mediation. As mentioned previously, it is improper and unlawful for your independent counsel to act as a mediator, and many clients prefer to retain their current attorney even after deciding to enter into mediation.
Additionally, mediators are not always practicing attorneys. Some clients feel more comfortable working with both a mediator and an attorney who is representing their individual needs and concerns throughout the legal process.
Both parties must decide together on a mediator, regardless of whether you are opting to use a mediation attorney or a mediator. If you are interested in securing the legal services of an attorney as independent counsel because you are not comfortable with your mediator, you should first select a different mediator. It is absolutely essential that both parties are comfortable with the mediator or mediation attorney at the center of your mediation process.
If I am Using Mediation, Do I Need to Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
Mediation can be used to handle complex legal issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution of marital assets, and much more. While mediators are trained to represent both clients during the legal process, there is no replacement for having a qualified and experienced divorce and family law attorney in your corner.
At the end of the day, the decision of whether or not you will retain independent legal counsel to support you during the mediation process is up to you. There are a litany of considerations which may be useful towards making this decision, which are covered in greater detail in our Should I Retain Independent Legal Counsel During Mediation? page.
Contact our Divorce Mediation Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our divorce mediation attorneys take pride serving clients and their families from local Morris County towns. Our attorneys are qualified as mediators and as independent counsel during the mediation process. Our mediation attorneys believe in helping our clients build a solid foundation for their family’s financial and personal future. If you are looking for a firm who takes the time to understand their clients before offering legal advice, look no further.
For clients considering mediation as a method to resolve your legal disputes or those who are already involved in mediation and seeking independent legal counsel, please contact us online or call our Morristown offices today by dialing (973) 710-4366 for a confidential and comprehensive Strategic Planning Session with one of our qualified and experienced attorneys.