These are common questions from the clients who call us at Westfield Mediation, LLC. A divorce mediator has been trained to work with divorcing couples to help them come to an agreement on issues like parenting, child support and dividing up the assets and the debt. A divorce lawyer also addresses parenting and financial issues, but her role is to be an advocate for one spouse against the other. While mediation attempts to create a win-win scenario for both husband and wife, a divorce lawyer works with only one spouse, and wants only her client to win. This difference in focus (and cost – since two lawyers is often more than 2x the amount of one mediator) is why mediation is considered to be better for the ongoing and future relationship of the former spouses and their family.
So if you decide to go with a mediator, why do we also suggest that you hire a lawyer? Once the husband and wife have come to agreement on all the pressing issues, we suggest that you hire a lawyer to review the agreement, and to make sure that you understand the law and how it relates to your plan. Also, even an uncontested divorce needs to go through the court system, and your lawyer can direct you through this process. At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we provide our clients with a list of mediation-friendly attorneys who charge only to review the agreement and file it in court. This combined approach of mediator at the beginning, and lawyer at the end, allows you to cover all your bases and save money while preserving your family relationships.
For more information about divorce mediation contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Randi M. Albert