Choosing your consulting attorney requires some care. The best way is to schedule an informational interview with a mediation-friendly attorney. If you choose an attorney who is primarily a litigator, he or she will probably steer you toward litigation. Instead, look for an attorney who will support you in your desire to mediate your differences with your soon-to-be-ex; for one who understands mediation and favors a respectful, non-adversarial divorce process.
Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator in Pasadena
There are many reputable self-help resources for divorcing couples available online. Nolo.com publishes high-quality consumer-oriented books on divorce and mediation, and Mediate.com has a wealth of articles, some of which are written for consumers. Divorcenet.com and DivorceHQ.com also publish information online. One way to evaluate any online resource is to ask: Does the advice make sense? Does it conform generally to what the other experts are saying?
Before the decision is made to definitely go ahead with a divorce, many potential mediation clients need information about the possible financial effects of divorce. Some of the most common questions posed by prospective mediation participants are:
- Before I tell him/her I want a divorce, can you tell me what my rights are?
- Can I keep my retirement?
- Will I have to pay spousal support?
- What can we do about our house in a troubled market?
Divorce is a major life change. Obtaining reliable information is critical. However, mediators need to preserve their neutrality and cannot provide specific legal advice to one party, either before or during mediation. Doing so would disqualify the mediator from providing mediation services at a later time. To find out more about pre-divorce resources or to obtain a referral list of mediation-friendly attorneys, call Georgia Daniels at 626.441.1900.