A question I am often asked is ‘do I need a lawyer for divorce mediation?’.
It’s a simple question and the answer depends on your circumstances.
Many couples get divorced using mediation only, without using a lawyer. However, it’s best to be on the same page when it comes to how to divorce and split assets and make future arrangements for the kids.
Here’s some considerations when deciding whether you may need a lawyer for your divorce mediation.
Do You Need A Lawyer To Get Divorced?
The quick and easy answer to that is a simple “no”. These days applying for a divorce can be done simply and online and without the need to appear in Court.
But, no matter how amicable your relationship with your ex-spouse or partner may seem, things can turn nasty very quickly and become complicated. In these circumstances or where you are uncertain about your rights and responsibilities, it may be an idea to seek some legal advice.
If you are still thinking of divorcing without a lawyer, the best and most obvious route would be to process the separation through mediation.
Do You Need A Lawyer For Divorce Mediation?
You do not need a lawyer for divorce mediation.
Mediators do not act for either party but remain neutral and impartial throughout the divorce mediation process, seeking to help the parties find solutions that are fair and acceptable to all.
They should never pressurise someone to accept a settlement they do not want.
Both parties are entitled to have their own lawyers present at the mediation, or seek further legal advice before finalising agreement.
Can Divorce Mediators Give Legal Advice?
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (usually accredited under the National Mediators Accreditation Scheme), who are also registered legal practitioners may provide general legal advice and guidance, especially if requested by both parties. This advice might cover general family law issues that apply specifically to your situation, such as appropriate property distributions (including spousal maintenance) and arrangements for the children
Mediators – especially with extensive previous experience as family lawyers – can bring a wealth of experience and knowledge of family law to the table, thereby assisting both parties to think rationally and make their own decisions towards amicable settlement.
Why Choose Divorce Mediation?
First and foremost, divorce mediation works!
The fact that very few couples who choose to mediate in Australia end up in Court is testimony to the effectiveness of mediation. That is one of the reasons why, under the family law, all parents seeking to obtain orders regarding children must attempt Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) before applying for a Parenting Order.
Mediation is a less costly and far quicker than going through the courts and a lot less stressful for the whole family. How long the process will take depends entirely on you and the number of points of dispute. It could take from a few hours to a few days – still a lot quicker than going through the Court, a process that will usually go on for years, making the mediation process far less costly too.
Lawyers act for their own clients and, understandably, fight to win. They usually charge for their time in this exercise and it can take some time. Mediation takes much of the emotion and conflict out the process with the objective to find an amicable solution.
Divorce mediation is a totally private and confidential affair and nothing that happens in mediation will ever be divulged to any third party. In fact, it is so confidential that no comment made during mediation can be used as evidence should the matter end up in the Court.
Got more questions about whether you need a lawyer for divorce mediation? Get in touch with me today – either online here or by calling or texting me on 0418 928 448.