Before Mediation: Should I Consult with a Divorce Attorney First?
Planning Ahead Before Mediation
Planning ahead is always wise. If you are thinking about divorce and know you want to use mediation instead of going to court, you’ve made a good decision. You may realize that mediation is all about making good decisions. But, if you and your spouse retain all the decision-making power, how do you know what to do? Typically, the mediator will tell you what you need to know before mediation.
Your mediator may also recommend that you and your spouse consult with independent attorneys before you sign the separation agreement. Since the mediator doesn’t legally represent you, he or she cannot give you legal advice in a divorce action. You should have an attorney review your separation agreement before you sign it if you are looking for legal advice. This can provide you with security. An attorney can tell you whether what you are agreeing will be in your best interests.
You don’t necessarily have to consult with your own respective attorneys before you begin the mediation process. Your mediator will tell you what will happen in mediation. Your mediator can also give you the information you will need to draft a comprehensive separation agreement.
An attorney will be able to provide you advice on what you should do in your divorce but won’t give you advice on what you and your spouse should do together. This is a simple but very important distinction between mediators and attorneys. An attorney is looking out for your own best interests while a mediator is helping you and your spouse serve both of your own best interests in the divorce.
If all you need is basic information about divorce in Massachusetts, you may not need to speak with an attorney at all. You are not required to have an attorney represent in your divorce in Massachusetts. You may still wish to have one review the terms and conditions of your divorce before you sign anything.
Consult with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you want to discuss a game plan before mediation. If you think you may need more information on divorce in general before you commit to mediation, speak with both mediators and attorneys about their approaches to divorce.
If you have questions about divorce mediation, contact Mediation Advantage Services for expert help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can provide you the information and guidance needed to divorce outside the courtroom. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at [email protected] today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.