Should You Consult A Divorce Lawyer Before Mediation/

Well, hmm. If you know a good lawyer then go right ahead. The main danger though is you will run into one of those much loved aggressive bulldog types. These will frequently start by wanting a full retainer just for talking to you and telling you what you want rather then a fair consultation fee.

Knowing what you should be asking for is a huge positive though. Nothing can skewer a negotiation faster then a party’s insecurity in thinking they are getting shafted. A good consult can tell you things like don’t agree to pay for college education and don’t agree to pay attorneys fees to enforce the agreement for actions after a year or some definite period of time after an obligation is due. Mediation can lead to lots of after divorce litigation from leaving major issues unresolved.

If you do consult a lawyer the best way to do it is to tell your spouse to go get a consult too.

Don’t forgot alternatives to mediation. Collaborative divorce where both attorneys agree to recuse themselves if it goes to litigation is one alternative, another is to find an attorney who isn’t afraid to tell you that it’s okay to concede some points but not others. There is no rule saying you have to employ a mediator its just one option.

A lot of lawyer use mediation as an excuse to paint the other side as unreasonable which is unfortunate. Always ask how often opposing counsel has worked with the other mediator. Don’t forget mediation is a business too. (A very lucrative one).

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