Mediation offers a great opportunity for many couples in New York to limit their legal fees in divorce.
Limit, not eliminate.
The terms you establish during divorce mediation will govern your personal and financial future for years and can set the tone for the rest of your life. But let’s remember, it’s just you, your spouse and mediator in the room. You need to be able to make and respond to requests that have long term implications. Before agreeing to anything, you should know your rights and obligations under New York law. You should know what options are in your best interests, and what compromises or concessions may not be. To receive individual legal advice that allows you to advocate most effectively on your own behalf, you need a consulting attorney.
Why a Consulting Attorney is Crucial in Mediation
When you work with a mediation consulting attorney, you can take advantage of guidance from a legal advisor who is solely focused on your needs. You won’t get that from your mediator. While your mediator may be an attorney with considerable experience in divorce matters, that attorney is working in a very specific role and cannot give you personal legal advice. In New York, a mediator is required to remain neutral throughout the process.
Your consulting attorney works only for you. Your consulting attorney can explain the implication of different proposals and suggest alternatives that may be better suited to your personal needs and goals. Each spouse should have a consulting attorney to protect their interests right from the start. That also avoids the scenario where you spend months negotiating an agreement with your spouse only to have them come back to announce that they’ve just met with an attorney who insists that they cannot sign the agreement and need to renegotiate the terms. When this happens, you’re guaranteed to destroy the trust and good will that you and your spouse were able to preserve and build upon in the mediation process.
A Mediation Consulting Attorney Will Not Behave Like a Typical Divorce Attorney
Many people try to stay away from legal assistance during mediation because they want to avoid conflict. Traditional litigation pits one party against the other with attorneys racking up high legal fees by fighting over every detail.
Mediation consulting attorneys operate with a different mindset. They want to avoid conflict just like you do. They want to help you find solutions that work best in your situation, but in the end, they know that the choice of action is yours and they will not tell you what you should do. Instead of trying to win at all costs, they want to support you during mediation to help you advocate as effectively as possible on your own behalf and negotiate agreements that protect what is most important to you.
Early Assistance is Valuable
The more you know about your legal rights, the better prepared you are to develop realistic agreements that support your objectives. That means you can gain the most from the guidance of a mediation consulting attorney by working with your legal advisor early in the process. It’s extremely helpful to be able to check in with your attorney before or after mediation sessions as needed and they will be able to review the agreement being drafted before you sign.
Talk to Vacca Family Law Group About the Ways a Mediation Consulting Attorney Can Best Help You
The divorce team at Vacca Family Law Group is committed to helping clients find peaceful resolutions through mediation and other means. At the same time, we are equally committed to protecting your rights and helping you reach your goals. We invite you to contact us for a confidential consultation to learn more about how we could assist in your case.