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Sharon Easley
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The difference between divorce mediators and lawyers

Nowadays, mediation has become a popular way to move through the divorce process. However, many people still are not exactly clear on the specific differences between a mediator and a family law or divorce attorney.

It is important to distinguish between what a mediator does and the services he or she can provide in helping you handle your divorce, as opposed to what a lawyer can do. The two professionals are not the same, and the benefits of each are different. Here are some basic considerations to help you understand how mediators and divorce attorneys differ.

Mediators are not necessarily attorneys

While a mediator may also be an attorney, it is not a requirement. Mediators are often the preferred choice for couples who wish to move through their divorce in a low-conflict and cost-effective way. That being said, a mediator cannot take a divorce to trial. In the end, this factor can actually turn out to be valuable, because aggressiveness in divorce court is not necessarily an asset for your case.

Mediators take a different approach

The mediator is a neutral third party who does not take the side of either spouse but rather acts to facilitate a shared agreement between the spouses. That means the mediator's approach is toward collaboration rather than conflict and litigation. While not all couples are suitable candidates for mediation, many couples who think that court battles are the only option could actually benefit from mediation instead. 

Legal background allows for ease of filing

Just because your mediator may not be an attorney does not mean that your divorce is not handled or processed legally. You get the benefit of avoiding "going to court" and letting a judge decide the terms of your post-divorce future, while the mediator files all the legal paperwork to ensure your shared divorce agreement is properly registered with the court.

The benefits of mediation for couples who wish to work through a collaborative divorce cannot be understated. Mediation can save time, stress and money. If you think you and your spouse could benefit from mediation, you should contact a licensed mediator for a consultation.

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