It’s a common misconception that you need to hire a lawyer for divorce.
In fact, there is no law anywhere that requires you to involve attorneys at any point during your divorce negotiations.
And if you so choose, not even for the filing.
Most couples hire divorce lawyers because they don’t know there’s a better alternative or they think their case is much too difficult to be handled any other way.
There's no doubt the issues surrounding divorce are complex so it’s best to work with someone who is well-versed in the areas that need to be resolved.
But that person is not necessarily a lawyer.
So if something in your gut is telling you that hiring a divorce attorney to represent you is a bad idea, then how can you get a divorce without a lawyer?
My ex and I made the right choice by mediating our divorce. No lawyers, no fighting with strangers involved... We were able to negotiate and collectively make decisions with our children in mind.
I don't know why everyone wouldn't just mediate and go through this difficult process with dignity.
While you might think a lawyer is the best choice, they really get a good part of the money that would be otherwise distributed amongst the two of you and your children.
If you are smart people, you can accomplish the discussions timely and cost-effectively with the guidance of a good mediator.
Believe it or not, divorce is more about finances than about divorce law. In fact, three of the four issues that need to be resolved during a divorce are financial in nature.
So you are much better off choosing a divorce mediator with a financial background like me than a family law attorney without one.
There's a big difference between a highly skilled, neutral third party divorce mediator who can successfully guide you to resolution in a fair and equitable way versus a lawyer who is a one-sided advocate and not necessarily interested in settlement, but rather in winning at all costs – even at the expense of the other party, your children or your family.
If you and your spouse have both agreed to divorce, want to mediate, are ready to start the process, and live in New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Washington, or Michigan, take the next step and book an initial mediation meeting for the two of you.
Before you go out and hire a divorce lawyer and battle in court, learn why you owe it to yourself and your children to mediate instead.