If you and your spouse are planning to go to mediation to end your marriage, you might think you can handle matters without the help of an attorney. While it is true that you do not require legal representation in a mediation setting, an experienced family law attorney in Florida can still offer you important advice that might make or break your upcoming mediation.
Per FindLaw, attorneys can offer important counsel before the mediation begins. Depending on the issues involved, a lawyer can let you know if a course of action will be counterproductive and harm your case. Here are some areas than an attorney can help you with.
Your Legal Position
Charging into a mediation without talking to a lawyer about your legal position is like walking blind into a mine field. You might think you hold all the cards, but in reality you might possess a weak hand and could end up with far less than what you could have negotiated for. Conversely, some people insist on too much and alienate the other party, perhaps causing the other spouse to leave the mediation completely.
Knowledge of State Law
If you and your spouse hammer out a mediation agreement that violates key facets of Florida family law, a judge could throw the compact out. Discussing with an attorney such matters like how the state allows property to be divided and how to calculate child support can make your eventual mediation agreement more likely to pass legal muster. An attorney can also review your proposed settlement for legal errors before it is finalized.
It is likely that almost every facet of divorce mediation is going to be new to you. There are rules and procedures that make up mediations, and there are also bound to be specific rules that pertain to mediating your case. A family law attorney can explain these procedures to you, as well as prepare any paperwork relating to the mediation and even review a proposed settlement before you agree to it.
Select a Mediator
Choosing a qualified mediator is a crucial move before the mediation even begins. A good mediator, according to FindLaw, should understand state and federal laws concerning divorce, have experience handling divorce matters, and also know how to navigate through legal and emotional hardships that accompany divorces. Assuming the mediator is not chosen by a court, a professional attorney can assist you in finding the right mediator, which can involve evaluating the mediator’s experience and expertise for your divorce.