Attorneys play an active role in courtroom divorces and represent their clients during judicial processes like hearings. In California, individuals going into divorce proceedings have the right to select and hire their own divorce lawyers to help them along the way. However, formal courtroom divorces are not always the best ways of achieving divorces for partners who can work together to end their marriage.
This Stockton and San Joaquin County family law blog has dedicated prior posts to discussing the option for California couples to use mediation to end their legal relationship. While mediation may appeal to some individuals, they may find themselves nervous about actively negotiating their own divorce and may believe that in order to mediate, they have to do all of the work and decision-making on their own.
During the mediation process, divorcing parties may still be supported by attorneys who work in the family law field. While the relationship between the attorney and the divorcing party may look similar to that of an attorney representing a client in court, attorneys involved in mediated divorces can take on much different levels of consultation with those that they represent. For example, an attorney in a mediated divorce may provide his client with information on the benefits and drawbacks of making certain divorce-related agreements, but generally will not end up actively advocating for his client's interests before the mediator.
Individuals who choose to use mediation to end their marriage may still consult with attorneys to ensure that they are approaching their divorces in reasonable, responsible ways. Making decisions during a divorce can be hard, regardless of whether those decisions are being made in a courtroom or with a mediator. Mediation and litigation are both venues in which divorcing parties may consult with attorneys to have their questions and concerns addressed.