When divorcing your spouse, there are likely things you will not be able to agree on. In order to save time, money, and stress, you can avoid going to court and opt to mediate your divorce instead. However, there are many misconceptions about the process that could make you hesitant to go this route. Keep reading to debunk the most common divorce mediation myths and learn how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you navigate the process.
Myth: Divorce Mediation Is the Perfect Solution for All Situations
While mediation is ideal for the majority of couples, there are certain circumstances where some will want to avoid it.
One of the situations where avoiding mediation is recommended is for spouses who experience domestic violence or abuse. Because mediation is all about compromise and working together, the abusive spouse will likely use the power dynamic in their favor to gain control over finances and retain more rights. The victim is less likely to advocate for themself, which makes mediation unfair.
Also, if you and your spouse know you cannot agree on particular topics like property or asset distribution, mediation will not be effective. Because each spouse needs to give in order to find a solution, this process will not work for you. Instead, having a judge order the distribution may be the only way to settle the matter if you both feel strongly.
Myth: The Mediator Will Make the Final Decision
Many assume that the hired mediator will make the final decision when it comes to the contract both parties must sign at the end of sessions to make the decision legal. However, this is not the case. The mediator has no legal say, as they act as an unbiased third party. The goal of the mediator is to facilitate conversation between spouses.
The mediator cannot provide advice to either spouse and is limited to explaining the law in an unbiased manner. This means the couple is solely responsible for setting the terms of their separation, using the mediator as a resource to maintain a civilized conversation and explain legal terms.
Myth: I Don’t Need a Lawyer for Mediation
As many are unaware that mediators cannot provide legal advice, it is a common belief that you do not need a lawyer. Generally, you’ll want to consult an attorney before signing any legally binding documents. This helps protect your interests, as you may not fully understand the terms and conditions of the agreement before you sign it.
If you’re ready to begin the mediation process, retaining the help of a qualified lawyer is essential to protecting your best interest. The Zitser Family Law Group is prepared to help fight for you and ensure you are informed about what happens during your mediation process.