New York Divorce Mediator on the Role of Lawyers in Mediation

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A New York divorce mediator is a third-party neutral who helps the parties navigate their divorce toward the mutual goal of settlement.  A New York divorce mediator does not provide legal advice but he or she does help the parties grasp a better understanding of their positions and the drawbacks to not settling the case.  He or she can also explain that lawyers can serve an important role in the mediation process.

Family law attorneys may take part in mediation sessions.  Their role is much different than that of the mediator.  A family law attorney advises his or her client of legal rights and possible options.  Additionally, he or she may take the lead in negotiations.  He or she may help propose ideas that may help the parties resolve their case.  At the end of the mediation if a settlement is reached, the lawyer may carefully review the agreement to ensure that the client’s needs are properly addressed and that the agreement contains all of the provisions that were agreed upon during the mediation session.

Not all divorce lawyers understand mediation or support it.  Many divorce lawyers are seasoned litigators who are accustomed to arguing their client’s point.  Mediation is more of a collaborative effort that moves away from the traditional adversarial approach to terminating a marriage.  This is why it is important to select a lawyer who understands the ability of mediation to help resolve the case and supports this effort.

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