Do I Need a Lawyer

communications in relationships

Do I Need a Lawyer to Get Divorced ?

  1. Pro Se (meaning basically, DIY)

you submit all required forms at correct times to the court. There is (was pre-covid, not sure current operation) a Self-Help Center at the court house with packets of forms available for this DIY diorve.

  1. 2. Hire an Attorney

if there is amicability, both parties could work with one Attorney, or, if there is dispute, and this is more common, each party hires their own Attorney to “go to bat” on their behalf.

In either an amicable, or contentious case, the Attorney fees are typically 3x what I charge in Mediation on every hour, and in general at least double what a Mediator charges.

Folks thus tend to choose this option only when there is contention, they need a fighter for them, and have large amounts of funds to spend. For example, even just to meet with an Attorney and start to negotiate items that do need to be resolved and agreed to clearly, that hour is (typically) 3x as much cost as my services where we do precisely the same work.

What Attorneys can do that Mediators cannot :

– advise parties of their legal rights 

– fill out court forms on the party’s behalf

– battle for their clients needs/wants

  1. The Mediation Option

Mediation costs much less per hour. We make an agenda, orient you to the process of amicable resolutions, facilitate joint communication, listening, expressing, hearing and understanding as well as negotiating points, and further draft MOUs (memoranda of understanding) . It is a kind, respectful, thorough, compassionate, and practical, targeted process. The target being covering all items that need to be addressed, coming to agreement and articulating clearly and thoroughly in writing – that is called the MOU.

The MOU may be submitted to the court by both of you, along with DIY court forms.  It becomes binding if you both choose (and typically folks do choose this). You can fill in court forms yourself, and they are easier to do during or at the completion of our mediation. Mediation prepares you well to do the forms without an attorney.