Practical, Positive Legal Solutions
For Knoxville Families

Can you mediate your divorce and have an attorney?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2024 | Divorce Mediation, Family Law

Many people who choose mediation for resolving conflict and reaching agreements with the person they are divorcing wonder if they may bring attorneys into mediation.

Mediation is a non-adversarial alternative to litigation, where a neutral third-party mediator helps people have a conversation or a series of conversations that hopefully lead to an agreement.

Choosing mediation for your divorce does not mean you cannot have an attorney. In fact, there are many benefits to having an attorney with you at every mediation session. For example, an attorney can:

  • Give you legal advice
  • Negotiate strategically
  • Speak on your behalf
  • Defend you

In addition, having an attorney often helps because the people in mediation have someone they can discuss their options with.

Legal advice

Your attorney knows everything about your case and about the other party, so they can fully give you the legal advice that you need, as well as help you negotiate so you get the most you can out of the mediation.

Emotional support

Even though this method is non-adversarial, it does not mean that mediation sessions do not get heated. In fact, divorce is complex and even in mediation, the parties can become emotional.

Having an attorney there to help you think things through rationally and remind you of what your bottom line is can change the outcome of your case. Remember that attorneys are negotiators, too.

Knowing the rules

Lastly, having an attorney in mediation is helpful because they know the rules. They understand how divorce court works and can, many times, tell you what they believe would happen.

You can discuss likely outcomes with your attorney if you refuse to agree on something, for example, because your attorney can inform you of how the court would likely respond. Mediators rarely do that, as they do not have the capacity to give legal advice.

Instead, mediators can help provide an environment for these negotiations to happen. Mediators can ensure that there are ground rules, such as respectful discord, and can separate the parties and put them in different rooms or virtual spaces if necessary.