divorce lawyer

Choosing Your Path To Splitting Amicably

Divorce, even when amicable, can feel like navigating a legal labyrinth. While emotions might run high initially, some couples choose an uncontested divorce, where they can agree on terms without court intervention. This begs the question: should you rely on a mediator or hire an attorney? Both options offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on your specific circumstances. Our friend at Flat Fee Divorce Solutions, who has facilitated mediation and uncontested divorces, discusses the differences:

The Mediator Facilitates Agreements, Not Drafting Documents

A mediator acts as a neutral third party who guides you and your spouse in reaching mutually beneficial agreements. They don’t represent either party, but rather create a safe space for open communication and compromise. Here are some pros and cons of using a mediator:


Cost-Effective: Mediation is generally cheaper than hiring separate attorneys. You often split the mediator’s fees, making it a more affordable option.

Empowerment: The mediation process encourages you and your spouse to take ownership of the decisions, fostering a sense of control over your future.

Improved Communication: Mediators can help guide productive conversations, minimizing conflict and fostering respect throughout the process.


Limited Scope: Mediators cannot dispense legal advice or draft legal documents. Once agreements are reached, you’ll likely still need an attorney to finalize the paperwork.

Compromise is Key: Both parties must be willing to compromise for mediation to be successful. If there are significant disagreements, it may not be the best route.

Hidden Issues: Mediators can’t uncover complex financial issues or hidden assets. If concerns exist, an attorney can investigate and protect your interests.

The Attorney Drafts Documents And Ensures Legality In Uncontested Divorces

An attorney specializing in uncontested divorces focuses on translating your agreements into legally sound documents. They represent you throughout the process, ensuring your rights are protected. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of hiring an attorney according to a divorce lawyer:


Legal Expertise: Attorneys understand divorce law intricacies and can ensure your agreements are legally binding and enforceable.

Representation and Protection: An attorney can protect your rights and advocate for your best interests, especially if concerns arise regarding finances or child custody.

Peace of Mind: Working with an experienced lawyer provides a level of security, knowing the legalities are handled correctly.

Drafting Documents: Attorneys will draft all the necessary paperwork required to finalize your divorce, saving you time and effort.


Cost: Hiring an attorney can be more expensive than mediation but ensures you will get divorced.

Focus on Legal Issues: Attorneys primarily focus on legal aspects, and the emotional complexities of divorce might not receive the same level of attention.

When Is Mediation The Right Choice?

Mediation shines when:

Communication is Open: You and your spouse can engage in respectful conversations and actively listen to each other’s concerns.

Agreements Do Not Exist But Can with Guidance: If you have no idea where to start, mediation can guide you to reach agreements.

Cost-Consciousness: You prioritize a more affordable option and are comfortable navigating the legalities with some guidance.

When To Consider Hiring An Attorney

An attorney is crucial if:

You have reached agreements on issues like parenting, dividing assets and debts. Only an attorney can draft your documents into your divorce.

Emotional Considerations: The emotional impact of the divorce requires additional support, which a mediator might not be equipped to provide.

Finding The Right Path Forward

Ultimately, the best route depends on your unique circumstances. Here are some additional tips:

Consult Both Options: Meet with a mediator and an attorney to understand their approach and fees.

Honesty is Key: Be transparent about your financial situation and any concerns you might have with either option.

Consider a Hybrid Approach: In some cases, mediation followed by an attorney to draft the final paperwork might be the best solution.

Remember, you are not alone.  Navigating divorce requires careful consideration. By understanding the pros and cons of mediation and attorneys, you can make an informed decision that best fits your needs and protects your future. If you are not sure where to start, contact an attorney near you for guidance.