Alternatives to traditional litigation including mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce have become increasingly popular to settle many divorce and family law disputes. However, many clients are not clear on exactly how the mediation process works and how attorneys can be involved. There are actually several different ways in which a qualified mediation attorney can be involved in the mediation process dependent on the preferences of the parties involved.
Today, our mediation attorneys will define mediators and mediation attorneys, discuss when and if individuals should consider hiring independent legal counsel, and touch on what factors should play a role in selecting a mediation attorney.
Mediators vs. Mediation Attorneys Bergen County, NJ
At a very high level, there are two ways in which a Bergen County mediation attorney can be involved in your case: either as your mediation attorney or as independent counsel. This point can be illustrated by identifying the professionals involved in a typical mediation:
Mediation Attorneys – this is an individual who acts as a mediator and as an attorney for both parties involved. The mediation attorney must remain unbiased and neutral at all times just like any other mediator. The primary difference is that a mediation attorney is a licensed, practicing lawyer in New Jersey.
Mediators – it is also possible to work with a traditional mediator who is not an attorney. Mediators typically are specially trained to act as conflict resolution specialists within given fields.
Independent legal counsel – each party may also hire their own attorney during the mediation process. We will discuss this in greater detail in the following section. It is important to understand that an attorney can act either as your mediation attorney or your independent legal counsel, but not both. This is to prevent potential conflicts of interest.
Do I need a Paramus Divorce Attorney During Mediation?
If you and your spouse are working with a qualified mediation attorney, it is not necessarily required for each of you to secure independent legal counsel. In theory, the mediation attorney should be representing both parties equally and protecting your legal rights throughout the mediation process. However, the decision of whether or not to hire a Paramus divorce attorney during mediation is entirely personal.
For example, some individuals going through mediation may feel that their best interests are not being protected by a mediator. There are even some situations where they may feel that the legal process is not being followed. In these situations, it is a great idea to work with a divorce or family law attorney to make sure you are covering your bases. These potential issues are one of the primary reasons why selecting the right mediator or mediation attorney is so important.
Selecting a Ridgewood Mediator or Mediation Attorney
Choosing a mediation attorney or mediator who will serve you and your spouse during divorce may be the most critical piece of the mediation process. This individual will be responsible for collecting evidence, speaking to both parties, keeping the proceedings civil, and ultimately rendering a recommendation. There are several considerations to take under advisement when making this selection, including:
- Finding a mediation attorney who makes all parties comfortable
- Ensuring that the mediator or mediation attorney has the relevant and necessary experience
- Personal style, comfort, and methods
- Length and costs of the mediation process
- Previous successful mediations/experience
Contact our Hackensack Divorce Mediation Attorneys Today
The mediation attorneys of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark have extensive experience serving families across Bergen County towns such as Hackensack, Teaneck, Ridgewood, Paramus, Fort Lee, and all of Northern New Jersey. Our legal team is qualified to act either as mediation attorneys or as independent legal counsel during the mediation process. We believe in offering dynamic legal services which fit our clients individual needs and concerns. Whether you are interested in a traditional divorce process or more alternative methods such as mediation, our experienced legal team has you covered.