Divorce lawyer vs divorce mediator: How much do you know about the differences between the two? Read on to learn more about the differences between them.
When you’re ready to end your marriage, you need to understand the right way to do it. This is a legal matter that can affect you for the next several years of your life.
It’s a common enough occurrence that it makes sense to know a bit about the legal process. The divorce rate right now is 24 per 1,000 people.
Couples ending their marriages typically either hire divorce lawyers, divorce mediators, or a combination of both. The tips in this guide will teach you the difference between working with a divorce lawyer and a divorce mediator.
The Divorce Lawyer
A divorce lawyer is often the first professional you consult once you know you want to end your marriage. Choosing a divorce lawyer is the first big decision most people make when divorcing.
Divorce lawyers are licensed professionals who passed all American Bar Association (ABA) requirements. They then choose to specialize in divorce litigation, family law, and other related interests.
Here are some other points to know about what divorce lawyers provide.
They Serve Your Interests Only
The main difference between a divorce lawyer and a mediator is that a lawyer is someone that you personally retain to advise you and serve your interests. It’s common practice for people to book a consultation with a divorce lawyer as soon as they know they want to leave their marriage.
During the consultation, the lawyer will take account of the facts and offer a roadmap for what you should do and how they would represent you. They’ll teach you the difference between absolute divorce and limited divorce, and will help you decide which to pursue.
The consultation is typically free and provides a starting point for how you handle your case. You can go on to hire a lawyer to represent you in divorce court or to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.
They are only interested in the best outcome for you, which may also come at the expense of your spouse not getting everything they wish for in the divorce. Research their specialty in case you need a child custody lawyer, adoption lawyer, or another type of specialized family law attorney.
The Lawyer Represents You in Court
Your divorce will be more straightforward when you’re able to get a collaborative divorce. Divorce lawyers can represent your interests whether the divorce is contested or contentious.
They will represent you whether you’re filing the petition for divorce or the one getting served with divorce papers. The lawyer will advise you based on their knowledge of the state’s divorce law. Some topics they’ll help you with include:
- Understanding your grounds for divorce
- Learning how marital property is split
- Knowing your rights to parental arrangements and custody
- Satisfying all legal divorce prerequisites
- Getting the right outcome for child support and other agreements
Once your case reaches this point, your divorce lawyer will be working extensively on your behalf. They’ll offer you options on how to proceed while letting you know possible outcomes.
Understand the Divorce Litigation Process
Having a divorce lawyer becomes essential if you’re going through the divorce litigation process. This means that your case will be decided in your city or county’s family court system in a trial in front of a judge.
Both parties will have the chance to argue their case, while still communicating outside of court to make comprises where possible.
The Divorce Mediator
What is a divorce mediator? They’re also legal experts, but they differ from hiring divorce lawyers in a lot of ways. These are professionals that help spouses come up with a divorce agreement.
Mediators also have some qualities that set them apart.
Mediators Are Impartial Third Parties
Rather than representing your individual interests, a mediator’s whole goal is to bring the situation to a reasonable conclusion. This means negotiating impartially and helping the two of you communicate and overcome differences.
Mediators are often licensed and bar-certified lawyers with experience in family law. They use their legal expertise to assist you both in your negotiations, though they’re not tied to the outcome.
Though many mediators are lawyers, they don’t have to be. Other mediators have experience in management, business, mental health, and other related fields.
Mediation Is a Way to Keep the Divorce Out of Court
You hire a divorce mediator when you hope to keep your divorce out of court. Mediators help you do the hard work behind the scenes, rather than airing everything out slowly in several divorce court hearings in front of the judge.
Mediators save you time and money, and more often than not, help people end their marriages on a peaceful note.
Learn the Process of Mediation
First, approach your spouse about mediation so that they know the benefits and agree. A mediator will empower you both to make your own decisions while pursuing your divorce.
The mediator will schedule several mediation sessions and will typically dissolve your marriage in a fraction of the time. Mediated divorces are generally completed in 2 to 6 months, while litigated divorces can take anywhere between a year and a half to 3 years.
This is why it’s so important that you and your spouse find mediators that you both trust.
Hire the Help of a Divorce Lawyer or Mediator
These tips are helpful when you’re learning the difference between a divorce lawyer and a divorce mediator. With these points in mind, your next step should be to reach out to a professional so you can explore options.
The JMB Blattner Family Law Group can help you with any facet of your divorce. To learn more about our team and how we can help you, get in touch with us online or give us a call at (410)324-6000.