Who is a Family Mediation Lawyer and What They Can Do

A family mediation lawyer is a family lawyer that focuses on settling family law matters through negotiation, mediation, arbitration or collaborative family law. They can be your advocates during mediation and settlement talks, or they can be actual mediators who will assist you and your spouse reach a settlement in your family law matter. These lawyers avoid courts and litigation.

Let’s look at family mediation lawyers’ types, qualifications, tasks, strategies and goals.

Family Mediation Lawyer Types

There are two types of family mediation lawyers:

  1. Family Law Mediation Lawyers that advocate and attend mediation and other settlement talks for each of the parties; and
  2. Family Law Mediators who do not advocate for either party but try to get the parties to settle through compromise.

Family Law Mediation Lawyers

Family law mediation lawyers who are ‘advocates’ for each party are usually general family lawyers who choose to settle cases instead of litigating them in court. Some family lawyers will only do settlements and negotiations. Other family lawyers may do both litigation and settlements. It depends on the lawyer’s type.

The family lawyers who refuse to litigate will usually become collaborative family lawyers. This means that they and their clients commit to a collaborative process. They will meet with the opposing party/counsel once or multiple times and negotiate or mediate an amicable settlement. If a settlement is not possible, these lawyers withdraw from the case and refer the parties to another family lawyer who will litigate their case in court.

Family Law Mediators

Family law mediators are usually senior family lawyers or retired accredited and certified judges to mediate family law issues between parties. These mediators typically charge an hourly rate and meet with the parties either personally or with the assistance and presence of each of the parties’ lawyers. Family law mediators will not attend court for you, and everything said during their mediation remains confidential except for some very narrow and strict circumstances.

When and How to Use a Family Law Mediation Lawyer

You can use a family law mediator whether your case is amicable or acrimonious. I have settled some impossible cases through mediation, negotiation and settlement conferences. All you need is the will and the goal to settle and get rid of the thought of mediation.

Family law mediators are good to use at the beginning, middle or the end of your case. They will give you all your rights and possibilities on how your case could be settled and strategize to maximize your settlement. Remember, however, settlements are always about compromise or giving up something. So you have to prepare for that instead of wanting everything out of your family law case.

You can use a family law mediation lawyer to consult you regarding your rights or take on your case from the get-go and guide you through the settlement. It depends on how much money you are willing to invest in your case and the lawyer.