Do I Need a Family Law Attorney or a Mediator?

After reading our explanation of the relationship and differences between a Family Law Attorney and Divorce Mediator, you might still be asking yourself whether you want to work with a Divorce Lawyer or a Mediator. So, let’s take a look at how you can make the right decision for your situation.

Things to Consider: Collateral Damage

One of the key advantages of working with a Mediator is avoiding a long, emotional, and costly court battle. While most couples worry about finances, the biggest impact of  divorce litigation is the emotional impact. Both spouses can come out of it emotionally bruised, worn out, and feeling, let’s say, not friendly toward each other. Consider what might be collateral damage of such a battle:

  1. The House: When you don’t work together, a house that has sentimental value can end up in the hands of strangers. In mediation, you’ll work toward a compromise where possible.
  2. The Kids: It is damaging for the kids to witness a legal fight between parents, and the damage can be lasting, even with the best of intentions.
  3. Friends: When a couple goes to battle, friends are often left in a position of having to choose sides. In that case, friendships are lost on both sides.

Strategies: Compassion or Exploitation

In Family Law matters, your mediator will focus on achieving a fair outcome. Divorce attorneys focus on winning for their clients. The strategy behind this so-called ‘victory’ can often be the exploitation of the other spouse’s emotions or financial weakness. It’s the attorney’s job to find these vulnerabilities and exploit them, whereas a compassionate mediator will focus on helping both spouses come to a mutual and fair agreement. That’s why you’ll hear divorce attorneys say things like, “I’ll fight for you!”

While it may be natural to want to fight and exact revenge or make a spouse pay for past behavior, now is the time to look to the future, to make sure you start your next chapter with a strong emotional foundation from where you can grow and flourish.

The Battlefield or the Playing Field

As you decide whether you need a family law attorney or a divorce mediator, you’ll essentially be deciding whether or not this process plays out on a battlefield or on an even playing field. One of the primary duties of a good mediator is to even the playing field for both parties, so that you can come to a fair agreement. A common misconception out there is that Mediators make decisions for you. Not true. Your mediator facilitates your work together, leaving both of you in control of the outcome. When you end up in a battle of lawyers, you may give up control in order to achieve negotiation leverage, each side experiencing victory and defeat in every battle of the war. Mediation will keep you off that battlefield and on an even playing field.

Affordable Mediation Can Help

Give us a call, and we’ll help you decide what is the best way for you to proceed. We are a team of compassionate Divorce Mediators with backgrounds in psychology and law. We have decades of experience helping thousands of couples through this process to achieve a healthy, fair outcome. Call us today at 602-714-7447 or download our Divorce Mediation Checklist.