If you are in the process of a divorce, I would say you probably do need a lawyer. The better prepared you are for mediation, the more likely you are to walk away with an agreement that you like, or at least can live with.
What you don’t want to have happen is realize later that you have left things on the table that can hurt you later on. Even being uncertain about that makes you vulnerable.
One or two hours with a good attorney can really clarify what you need to make sure to find agreement on. Sometimes, when people seek an amicable divorce, they feel that they cannot hire an attorney who will help you advocate for yourself. That’s the farthest thing from the truth.
You can only mediate well when you can also advocate for yourself.
Hiring a lawyer does not mean you don’t seek an amicable divorce.
Please, don’t think that simply by consulting with a lawyer you are ruining your chances of finding an amicable dissolution of your marriage. That simply isn’t so.
I don’t know your situation, but I do know this: People don’t always realize when they are getting divorced, what protection they need to build into their divorce settlement.
I suggest you consult with an attorney just for peace of mind. You just don’t want to have to worry later on and second guess your agreement.
A mediator cannot give you legal advice!
No mediator can give you legal advice. This is very important to realize. Only your own attorney can give you adequate legal advice.
As a mediator it is my role to help you reach a voluntary agreement. I facilitate. But I can only work with what you bring to the table.
Your mediation will go better, the better prepared you are. The more you bring to the table, the better the agreement can be.
Does that not make it more expensive?
Yes, it does. But you know what, a divorce is a an expensive process. You have already discovered that. Whatever you can do to do it right is what you need to do.
In many cases, it is also a good idea to seek support from a therapist. Divorce is a difficult process, even in the best of circumstances. I hope you won’t underestimate it and build the support system that can help you maneuver this time better than you could on your own.