While a mediator and lawyer are often two different things, a family law attorney can act as a figurative mediator in a divorce. If you are representing yourself and things get heated between you and your spouse, you will have to handle the situation on your own. It will be hard to negotiate with the other party if you don’t have the right position to leverage or skills or legal knowledge to do so.
A lawyer has the skills and knowledge to help you, however, and can help move things along. He or she knows that successful negotiations require effective strategies. Yelling and arguing do nothing to change a person’s mind or help reach a resolution.
How a Lawyer Can Help With Mediation
Armed with the facts of the case and a thorough knowledge of the law, family law attorneys have an advantage when it comes to mediating. They know how to use all the ammunition they can to persuade the other side with their argument.
Lawyers also understand that patience is key. Sometimes it takes time to get a person to change his or her mind about a situation, but they don’t give up. They are persistent, so they keep following up. Do you have that same persistence? If your spouse kept wearing you down with insults and false allegations, wouldn’t you come to a breaking point quickly? To this point, your spouse also probably knows you pretty well and knows your breaking points and what you will and won’t respond to. Lawyers are able to navigate through the emotions and feelings of a divorce being unphased by the emotional investments of either party or the emotional break points.
Lawyers know that information is power. They work to get as much information from the other party as possible. They know that your spouse has motivations for acting the way he or she does, so they work to uncover your spouse’s goals and needs. They do this by creating rapport. This can be difficult for spouses to do when they are in the throes of a divorce.
A lawyer will do what it takes to get you and your spouse to come to an agreement, 26 11 CHAPTER 27 if that is what you want your capable divorce attorney to do instead of going to court. But if no agreement can be reached are you willing to go to court on your own, with no representation? If so, unfortunately for many people they soon realize that no one is there to hold your hand, the judge or staff can’t in fact by law. They can’t give you legal advice and will tell you that all the time as an answer to almost any question you have except “where is the restroom?”. Additionally if you now go to a lawyer you may be paying more for a lawyer or certain lawyers may not even take your case because it is already started and they have to be jumping into someone else’s plan instead of being able to create their own from the beginning. It is not impossible as our law firm of Mitchell & Crunk has done so many many times, but it can at times not be the most comfortable depending on how much has happened beforehand. Also, hiring a lawyer after mediation has failed and before you go to Court has possibly greatly damaged your new lawyers ability to reach an out of Court settlement instead of hiring them from the beginning. A capable divorce lawyer knows how to maximize their clients’ leverage. They seek to understand what you and your spouse expect in a settlement and will go all the way to court to make sure you get what you desire. Finally, if you’re too focused on settling because you know very well you don’t know how the Court system works and what would happen there, you have given a lot of leverage to your spouse to get a less than fair settlement out of you because you will reach the point of desperation to settle and the other party will end up with an advantage if they want to use it.
Why You Shouldn’t File Your Own Divorce
By representing yourself in a divorce, you’re bound to come into conflict with your spouse at one point or another. By having a third party on your side, such as a lawyer, you’ll have someone to negotiate and communicate with the other party on your behalf. A divorce is a life-changing event, so don’t go through one alone. It’s important to protect your legal rights in a divorce, and you can do so by hiring a Georgia divorce attorney for help, before Mediation.