Divorce Attorney vs. Mediator: Is There a Difference?

Have you ever wondered how a divorce attorney differs from a divorce mediator? Many people think that hiring an attorney is the only effective way to resolve a divorce proceeding, but the truth is there are other options available.

Lady Justice statue in law office. Figurine with blindfold, balance and sword is personification of moral force in judicial system and it's origin is Lustitia, goddess of Justice in Roman mythology

Read on to learn what it means to hire a divorce attorney versus a mediator.

What is divorce mediation, and how does it differ from hiring a divorce attorney?

Divorce mediation is the coming together of parties to amicably discuss how to divide community assets, establish parenting plans, and custody agreements–outside of court.

When a party hires an attorney for divorce, the typical process is the traditional courtroom process.

Are mediators also attorneys, or are they separate professionals?

The key difference is that a mediator will not function as an attorney in the sense that they will not represent clients individually.

Although your mediator may be licensed through the State bar, that does not mean they will function as an attorney whom you hire to represent you. However, divorce, specifically, can be a complex process, and that is why many mediators have a legal background. Attorneys represent their clients in litigation individually and can be more contentious in their communication with the other party. Alternatively, a mediator will work to keep the process amicable and help the parties discuss their goals face to face.

Attorneys will also have a legal duty to their clients, which allow for a much more extensive dive into the lives of the client they are representing. An attorney is trying the get the best outcome for their client, which may require deeper investigation to get all the facts regarding the conflict at issue between the parties regarding their divorce.

A divorce mediator is less concerned about HOW you got to this place in your relationship, or who may be at fault. Instead, they focus the process on the future, and how you want your family to look once the process is over.

What role does the mediator or attorney play in helping clients reach a settlement?

A mediator is technically trained in conflict resolution, and act as neutral facilitators, guiding clients through discussions, providing information about legal rights and options, and helping them find common ground to reach a settlement that works for both parties.

The process of settlement within litigation can be quite contentious due to each side attempting to win on behalf of their client, even if pushing to win is not in their client’s best interest or their clients’ children’s best interests.

A mediator may be the best fit for your situation. However, regardless of if you choose the mediation route, keep in mind that you still may use an attorney, but in the capacity of a consultant to ensure your legal requests represent your best interest.

If you are looking to the future state of your divorce or other family issues, Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center to meet with an expert team of California divorce mediators.

by: Ahsha Mootz

Ahsha Mootz with west coast family mediation center

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *