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Lawyer or Mediation: When to Choose One over the Other

Divorce is a very difficult step in life, as it affects the future of everyone involved. Splitting up assets and deciding who gets the children can make people lose control over their lives. So, it is very important to weigh all the options carefully. Here are two of the most common.

Hiring a mediator

mediatorWhen taking this path, the couple addresses a mediator capable of helping both parties to reach an agreement mutually beneficial. The mediator does not have to be a lawyer, but knowledge regarding family law is compulsory.

A good mediator has to be impartial and not favor any of the sides. Still, both parties should also seek advice from a lawyer before signing any settlement. When hiring a mediator, the involved parties have better chances of parting ways on friendly terms. Since the main aspect of mediation is eliminating conflict, children might not have to suffer in the process so much. Mediators are more cost-efficient and discrete, so parties are more likely to reach a swift agreement.

However, if the negotiation process is a failure, the parties might waste a lot of money. Also, keep in mind that a poorly drafted agreement can be appealed, leading to legal complications. Also, since both parts disclose voluntarily how much they own, some assets may not be disclosed. It all comes down to trust in the end.

Getting a lawyer

Most couples decide to file for a lawsuit in order to reach a divorce settlement. This is an option when the parties cannot reach a mutual agreement. If one party wants to end the marriage, while the other doesn’t there is not much point to negotiate.

When going on this path don’t hire a lawyer that will instigate to conflict before going to court. Successful divorce lawyers will advise their clients to try to reach a reasonable agreement. Still, if the reasoning is not an option, the matter will be solved in court. The downside of taking such action is letting a judge, oblivious of the situation, makes decision for both parts.

Evaluate your situation

Mediation may seem less demanding both financially and psychologically. If the parties can still have a civilized conversation and collaborate, then this is the right path. However, if the relationship between you and your ex is resentful, this may not be a good idea for you. Also, it is not recommended to resort to mediation when: you have trust issues regarding assets, you have a problem sustaining your opinion, and you are afraid about confronting your ex or if there were problems regarding addictions. If a divorce cannot be carried out peacefully, then it should be taken to court.

There is also the option of asking a lawyer’s advice while going through the mediation process. This way you can find out about your rights and options, while being coached through the agreement process. Also, if you want to escape from the hassle, you can have a lawyer prepare all the necessary paperwork. Consulting services are not that expensive and most of the times you don’t have to make a large deposit.