When it comes to family law disputes, lawyers are usually viewed as the harbingers of conflict, discord, and never-ending costs. In some circles the perception (sadly) exists that lawyers and divorce mediators are diametrically opposed.
It is true that lawyers play an important role in high-conflict disputes which are not capable of settlement. Lawyers are, however, often also the pragmatic voices of reason who help emotional clients realign their expectations and negotiate in good faith. Attorneys and advocates are well-positioned to use their knowledge of the legal system and their expert skills of persuasion to assist their clients to act in a reasoned manner. In fact, most of the top family lawyers place great emphasis on assisting their clients to negotiate settlement.
Because of their unique skill set and knowledge, lawyers are extremely well-suited to mediate family law and divorce disputes (if they have received the proper training). Here are three reasons why you should consider appointing a lawyer as your divorce mediator:
1. Lawyers know the law
The legal position is dynamic and ever-changing. This is especially true when it comes to family law and divorce matters. Family Lawyers are compelled to keep up to speed on the latest developments in the field of family law and divorce to maintain their competitive edge in Court; they are therefore able to guide mediating parties based on an accurate and up to date knowledge of the legal position.
2. Lawyers can manage conflict
Divorce lawyers are called upon to be the voices of reason to their clients in high tension situations, such as Court proceedings or round table conferences. Experienced divorce attorneys are experts at defusing volatile and emotional situations. In mediation, the ability to maintain a sense of calm in the room could mean the difference between settlement and a total breakdown in the process. In general, divorce lawyers make for calm, practical thinking divorce mediators.
3. Lawyers can take the matter further
In most mediation cases, the result is a divorce settlement agreement or a parenting plan. These documents must be processed by the Courts. Attorneys can assist parties to take the necessary steps to finalize these court proceedings. Therefore, the parties only need one person (the lawyer-mediator) to assist them. This obviates a duplication of costs.
Contact Us to see how our lawyer-mediators can help you.