I plan to use divorce mediation. Do I still need a lawyer?

An increasing number of divorcing Connecticut couples are using mediation to negotiate important issues and settle disputes. The mediator - a neutral third party - helps the couple reach an agreement, but may not have a legal background. Therefore, if issues arise during the divorce mediation or if you have questions about how a certain decision will affect you in the long term, you may wish you had a lawyer present to look out for your best interests.

The key is to select the right lawyer for your needs. Obviously you will want one skilled in family law, particularly in handling divorces. In addition, you want someone who has some experience in mediation and has a favorable attitude toward the process.

The right divorce mediation lawyer can provide you with many benefits. He or she can help you beforehand by preparing you for the process. During the mediation, a lawyer can analyze the information presented by both sides and help steer the parties toward a favorable solution. Once a possible agreement has been reached, the lawyer can help you understand the pros and cons and answer any questions you may have so you can settle all your divorce issues without a major dispute.

If you have limited legal knowledge, then hiring a divorce lawyer to assist in the mediation process may be a good idea. It's easy to make a hasty decision during a divorce in order to move the process along. However, making the wrong decision can lead to short-term and long-term ramifications. Having a mediator present may be one way to avoid making rash decisions.