Understanding the Role of Review Counsel in Mediation
When two spouses handle a family law dispute through mediation, the case is settled under their control. Unlike a judge, who might make decisions for the parties, a mediator is there to act as a neutral guide. What does that mean, exactly? Well, if you choose mediation for your divorce or other family law case, your mediator won’t take sides. He or she is mainly there to direct your discussions and help you cooperate. With that in mind, where can you find the legal advice you’ll need to uphold your best interests? Who else is on your side?
Goal of Mediation Review Counsel
While mediation is meant to be neutral and cooperative, it’s still important to have a professional legal adviser who can support your particular needs and wishes. That’s where “review counsel” comes in. When you retain review counsel in family law mediation, you get insightful guidance throughout the process—and strategies specifically tailored to support your interests. The purpose of review counsel is not to start conflict but to ensure the end result is fair to you.
How Does Mediation Review Counsel Work?
Review counsel is not generally present during the mediation sessions. Here’s how it typically works. Let’s say you and your ex-partner are using mediation to settle the terms of your divorce. When you finish a mediation session, your mediator will create a document outlining all of the points you’ve agreed on. Your review counsel can go over the document to make sure it aligns with your goals.
Besides the final review of your agreements, review counsel can be very useful as background support throughout the mediation process. If you are confused about the process, need clarification on a matter, or have questions you don’t want to ask in front of the other party, review counsel can field your particular concerns. They can also help you prepare for your upcoming mediation sessions, which can involve reviewing your rights and exploring different settlement options.
When you decide to divorce, weigh your options carefully. To watch our Founding Attorney Meghan Freed’s full presentation on Choosing Your Approach to Divorce, click here. At Freed Marcroft, we have helped hundreds of people move forward to a better life and make informed choices about their divorce options. At our first step, the Goals & Planning Conference, we start by working through these questions with you to help you figure out your goals. If you decide that divorce is part of what you need to do to get you to the future you want, we can help you. If it isn’t, we will support you and help you figure out what you need to get you there instead.
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