The super simple answer is time, money, control, and confidentiality. These are important factors in your divorce process that you maintain authority over during mediation. Divorce attorneys have an important, limited, role in the divorce process when used in conjunction with, and not in place of, mediation. In mediation you are able to get divorced in a more amicable manner, for significantly less money, at a much faster pace with meetings scheduled at your convenience with all the issues discussed in mediation staying in mediation and not the public court system. Time, money, control and confidentiality. A divorce attorney is a part of your divorce process, but in a more finite way than if they were you only source of support. So, you get the benefit of an attorney without the huge price tag.
In New Jersey it is possible to get divorced without using attorneys at all. You complete all the court paperwork yourself and you represent yourself in court. It is called being pro se. While it is perfectly legal, it is not best practice. The divorce mediators at Westfield Mediation always recommend using a review attorney (a divorce attorney acting in a more limited role) to advise you of your legal rights, review your divorce agreement, file all the court paperwork, and accompany you to court.
A divorce mediator, one professional, can cover 90% of the divorce process by helping you reach an agreement about all the areas of your divorce- a parenting plan which includes child custody, a fair and equitable financial distribution of your marital assets and debts, child support and spousal support (used to be known as alimony). The divorce attorney, or yourself if you are pro se, helps with the other 10%. This 10% is important, but it is only 10%. That 10% of attorney time still has a cost, but it is significantly less expensive than paying two attorneys 100%. A divorce mediator and a review attorney are the best of both worlds for the least amount of time, money, and stress.
For more information on divorce and divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M.Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at email@example.com.