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Mediator vs. Attorney in a divorce

In the current Covid-19 environment some things with the courts just do not make sense. If a lawyer files an uncontested divorce, there are several legal steps that need to occur. If that same uncontested divorce is filed by a MEDIATOR, then a lot less steps need to occur. Interestingly, if mediator happens to be a lawyer, the mediation steps are still simplified. So that begs the question: why not just file uncontested divorces as a mediator rather than as a lawyer? Well, that’s what has been happening.

When a lawyer takes on the role as a mediator, for an uncontested divorce, the lawyer is not representing either party as a lawyer. Each party is actually self-represented which is often called pro se. When paperwork is filed, where both parties are pro se, there are less legal things that need to be done with the court to process the divorce.

There are a lot of reasons for this, and Covid-19 is certainly one of the factors that weighs in on how the courts are processing things these days.

The reason I’m mentioning this is because there are a tremendous number of people that have been “meaning to get divorced” but have not done so because they were concerned about things like the cost, the paperwork, the time involved, and perhaps confrontations.

In the current environment, a simple pro-se divorce via a mediator can be a fast and perhaps the cheapest way to finally wrap up a divorce. Many lawyers take on the role of a mediator simply because it is an expedient path towards getting a couple divorced.

A lot of people confuse the term “mediator” with someone that literally mediates things between the parties, so this is sometimes viewed as a contentious process. While that is certainly possible, many couples have already figured out “who gets what” and they just need to finalize the divorce via the courts. In these situations, the primary value of the mediator is to assist with the piles of paperwork that are involved with the divorce.

When a couple has already worked out the “who gets what” aspects, the rest is just paperwork that needs to be drafted and submitted to the court in the correct manner. That divorce paperwork seems unattainable to the typical non-lawyer, so assistance with the paperwork is where the mediator can “make it happen” and quickly.

If you have any questions about divorce mediation, give us a call.

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