Are you wondering whether you should try a mediation rather than a divorce attorney? A mediation is ostensibly a way for a husband and wife to arrange their assets amicably so that both parties are happy. It's done without lawyers and, theoretically, should be both a less expensive and less aggressive way to dissolve a marriage. But that is in theory. In practice, divorce attorneys are almost always preferable.
1. It May End Up Costing You More
While a mediator is less expensive than a divorce attorney, a mediator's job is not to advocate for you—it is to find a solution that is tolerated by both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Thus, while you don't need to pay as much for a mediator, you may not end up getting as much in the settlement. You won't have an idea of what is fair for you because the mediator's job isn't to advocate for you, it's to find the path of least resistance. If you aren't an aggressive person, you may be steamrolled.
2. A Mediation Is Only As Agreeable As Your Spouse
Presumably, if you're getting divorced at all it's because you have irreconcilable differences with your spouse. A mediation can only work if your spouse is reasonable and willing to compromise. If you've already had issues in the past with your spouse during arguments, there's no reason to believe that a mediation will be any more effective.
3. Mediation Doesn't Guarantee Your Spouse Will Not Pursue Legal Help
There is nothing in a mediation that precludes your spouse from finding a lawyer. In fact, while you mediate, your spouse could already have a lawyer looking at documents and formulating a game plan. Often, the person who ends up getting what they deserve will be the person who is able to procure legal aid first. You don't want to waste valuable time in mediation if your spouse is going to get a lawyer regardless.
4. It Is Not Legally Binding In Any Way
Until actual settlement documents are signed, nothing that is stated in mediation is legally binding. Your spouse can very well say that he or she will give you the house, but then change their mind last minute and either go to court or keep fighting. If your spouse so desires, they can easily try to mislead you while they get their financial ducks in a row. A lawyer will be able to procure a legally binding settlement much faster.
At very least, most people should consult with a divorce lawyer or child custody lawyer before they make a decision. A divorce attorney from places like Madison Law Firm PLLC will be able to explain in further detail why or why not a mediation may be applicable to your situation.