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Do You Need a Lawyer for Mediation?

The answer is “Yes”.

Legally, you aren't required to have an attorney for mediation, but you really should have one with you.

Here's how an attorney can help you.

Help you understand the process. There are different ways to conduct a mediation, and a Tarrant County divorce lawyer can tell you how mediation is normally practiced here. The process may be a little differently in other areas of the state.

Help you select an appropriate mediator. Just like everyone else, mediators bring different experiences, knowledge and personalities to the process. To put it another way, “one size doesn't fit all”. It helps to have an experienced attorney who knows the mediators in Tarrant County who can help you choose the best mediator for your case. That decision can have a huge influence on your chances of success in the case.

Help you create and understand your options. Part of the mediation process is developing and evaluating options for settlement. An experienced family lawyer can help you create and select appropriate solutions.

Be your legal advisor. One of the primary roles of your attorney is to explain the law and answer any questions you have about how the law applies to your case.

Help you evaluate the offers on the table. Your attorney will ultimately have to give you advice, based on the attorney's knowledge and experience, about the advantages and disadvantages of any offers of settlement that you make or receive. The decision on whether to make or accept an offer always belongs to the client, but it's a good idea to consider the advice of your attorney. Lawyers typically look for what can go wrong with a deal, and that's a good thing to listen to when you may be anxious to settle.

Thus, while you can technically go to mediation without an attorney, you are better off having an experienced Tarrant County attorney to help you prepare and then to go through the process with you.

Bonus Thought: Having an experienced attorney-mediator is even better. A trained mediator better understands decision-making and how to present issues in negotiations. I am a trained mediator and would be happy to discuss your case. Call us for an appointment.