When deciding to divorce, should you use an Attorney, Lawyer, or Mediator?
Let's begin by discussing the difference between the three professionals. An Attorney has a license to practice law and represents their client as Power-of-Attorney in Court when pleading or defending a case and this is referred to as litigation. A Lawyer is a member of the legal profession who gives legal advice and works in the legal profession to discuss legal options. A Mediator is a neutral third party in a private setting who acts as a facilitator during a collaborative process in an effort to discuss and resolve issues pertaining to your divorce.
Mediation is much cheaper than Litigation. Attorneys for each party require a retainer fee of several thousand dollars up front. The Attorney will take their fees out of that retainer and once it is used up, they will ask you to replenish the retainer. Attorneys control the process, not you! On the other hand, Mediators work by the hour or a set fee. They keep you out of Court and focus on resolving issues. Once all of the issues are resolved, they write a Marital Settlement Agreement for the Court and help you with the final paperwork for your dissolution date. You control the process, not the Mediator!
In the event that you do have to retain an Attorney, only contact them when absolutely necessary. They charge you every time you make contact with them whether it be by phone, email, text, or even written correspondence!