Should I Hire You To Be My Mediator Or My Attorney?

Cindy Best

Attorneys usually all go to mediation during a divorce by hiring a neutral third party to help resolve disputed issues. That involves 5 people: you, your attorney, your spouse, your spouse’s attorney and the mediator. Why all the people? The mediator thinks you should pay spousal maintenance of $5,300 per month. Is that a good idea? Your attorney will give you the law, advice, and experience about whether that is a good idea. He or she will use their trial experience and give you a well reasoned opinion and a counter offer if you choose to make one. Second scenario: you go to a mediator….there are three people: you, your spouse, and the mediator. Your spouse wants $5,300 per month for 10 years. The mediator wants to know if you agree. What do you do? What is the law? What will the judge say? Is that normal? The mediator cannot really answer those questions nor can he or she give you legal advice. They can be very valuable, though, especially if they are a practicing, Arizona licensed attorney. They can tell you about their experience and provide you a copy of the statute, without giving you legal advice. So whether you need an attorney for a mediation is up to you. Sometimes the issues might be fairly straightforward and you will not need to hire separate counsel. But your mediator should be trial seasoned and Arizona licensed.

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