What is the Difference Between a Divorce Lawyer and a Mediator?

Divorce is not something anyone wants to encounter. Relationships and marriages are about creating a bond, not severing one. Still, this is an eventuality that many couples have to face, as decisions and actions cause their relationship to falter or fall apart. In these times, it would be excellent to have an amicable split without any hurt feelings or spiteful actions.

Sadly, this is often not the case. In many cases, people must seek out professional legal assistance or advice in order to separate themselves amicably. They may choose divorce lawyers, mediators or other, non-law-related professionals to assist them in coming to an agreement. Today, we look at the first two options and the different approaches they take to marriage separations and divorces.

The Similarities Between Mediators and Divorce Lawyers

Still, before looking at the differences between these two professions, we must note the similarities between them. Both mediators and divorce lawyers are practicing law professionals with a background in law, or at least they should be. This helps ensure that you are still getting top-notch legal services in spite of the difference in approach.

Additionally, both professions are sworn to confidentiality with their clients. This means that whatever information is shared between you and your divorce lawyer or mediator is kept entirely secret. Here though, is where the differences begin, as mediators are confidential to both parties, unlike the single instance with lawyers.

The Differences Between Mediators and Lawyers

The approach of divorce lawyers and mediators is one of the main differences between the two professions. Lawyers want to provide advice to their clients, telling them what, how and when to do things. By contrast, mediators empower their clients to make their own decisions and come to fair agreements. Their approach is one of guidance.

Difference Between a Divorce Lawyer and a Mediator
Difference Between a Divorce Lawyer and a Mediator

The way they approach their strategy is also different. Mediators look for the best solution for everyone involved, including any children of the couple. They aim for amicable compromises and mutually beneficial decisions wherever possible. On the other hand, divorce lawyers attempt to secure the best outcome for their clients alone. They do not necessarily concern themselves with the needs of their client’s spouse or children.

Although this is not always the case, mediated separations tend to resolve faster than those involving divorce lawyers. As you may suspect, mediations usually require both parties to be willing to compromise and separate amicably, which leads to faster resolutions and agreements. Divorces requiring lawyers, conversely, are often disagreeable affairs that involve spiteful actions and heady disagreements.

The cost differences between the two professions are also notable. Mediations are typically much less expensive than divorce proceedings, which may be largely due to the lack of court time and document filing. The lower labour and organizational costs likely also play a role. Still, the difference can be significant, making mediation a more appealing option for some.

Choosing the right legal professional for your needs can be difficult, but it should be taken seriously. As you can see, there are some significant differences between the two professions, so take these into account when deciding the best course of action.