Do I Need a Lawyer for a California Divorce Mediation?

If you are facing divorce in California and thinking about mediation, you are already taking the first step to potentially resolving your divorce in a mutually beneficial manner that reduces costly legal expenses for both parties, minimizes the stress and delay of waiting on court dates and hearings, and avoids having to bring all of your marital disagreements into a public courtroom. With a mediation, you and your spouse can work out all issues related to your divorce – including property distribution, spousal support, child support, and custody/visitation matters – with a mediator committed to honoring both your interests, all in a private and comfortable environment. But many people wonder whether it is still necessary to work with your own attorney in the mediation process.

Hiring Your Own Attorney is Allowed, But Not Required

California family law mediators work with both spouses in reaching a divorce agreement, and it is not uncommon for one or both of the spouses to bring their own attorneys to the mediation.

While a mediator can and will explain California law to both spouses, and how a family law judge might make orders on financial and custody matters should the divorce go to trial, the mediator is not there to necessarily argue on behalf of either spouse’s interests. In contrast, while a person acting as your family law attorney may also try to negotiate an agreement with the other spouse and/or his or her lawyer, your family law attorney will ultimately only be interested in pushing your interests.

Many Mediators Are in Fact Family Law Attorneys

If you do not have your own attorney present, however, the mediator can and should explain California law with respect to the issues you and your spouse are trying to resolve, and should do so in a way that helps you reach an agreement in full understanding of your rights under California law.

Many divorce mediators are family law attorneys themselves, thus they have a deep experience in working through and litigating California divorce issues and explaining them to people unfamiliar with the law and process.

It is ultimately up to you whether you would like to consult with an attorney on your own separate from the mediator but many couples have reached satisfying and mutually beneficial resolutions to their divorce by simply working with a California mediator to reach an uncontested settlement agreement.   

Help in Your California Divorce Mediation

The Pasadena family law attorneys at Kearney | Baker work with clients across Southern California can assist in acting you as a mediator for your divorce or in representing you through a mediation. For help with any family law matter you are facing, please contact the experienced, compassionate family law attorneys at Kearney | Baker today!