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Should I see my own lawyer during the mediation process?

Having an attorney as a mediation coach is often helpful during mediation. Our mediators encourage spouses to work with mediation-friendly attorneys while a mediation is ongoing. We also offering mediation coaching services to clients who are engaged in mediation with another mediator. Mediation-friendly attorneys who act as mediation coaches can often play a positive role in mediation by offering their client the type of direct and candid legal advice that a mediator – who is acting as an impartial third party – cannot offer to either spouse. Moreover, if a complaint for divorce has already been filed, spouses can take a break from litigation to try mediation – and continue to take advice from their attorneys during the process.

Whether you should use a mediation coach depends on the specific circumstances of your case.

One of the strengths of the divorce mediation process is that there are no attorneys at the mediation sessions to push you or your spouse to try to get more out of the divorce. Without lawyers advocating on your behalf inside the room, you and your spouse are in a far better position to come to a mutually beneficial resolution that you can both live with over the long term, rather than one that strongly favors one spouse or the other.

However, it can often help to use an attorney as a mediation coach who coaches you on negotiating strategy and tactics, advised you about the law, and helps you prepare and review financial documents and proposed agreements.

Sometimes one spouse has an upper hand in the bargaining process. This might result from the spouse’s intimate knowledge of the law, a better understanding of finances, or simply a strong (or overbearing) personality. Having a mediation coach to guide you through the mediation process can be very helpful. Indeed, many spouses who go through the divorce mediation process find that having a mediation coach is a great way to hone their negotiation abilities, set goals and develop discussion plans, and build confidence that can make a big difference during the mediation sessions.

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