Divorce Lawyers and Divorce Attorneys
Divorce lawyers and divorce attorneys are individuals who are specially trained to understand the law and the process of deciding cases involving the dissolution of a marriage (called divorce litigation). They are by nature advocates for one party or the other in a dispute. In mediation lawyers can be helpful, especially in disputes involving complex legal issues. Lawyers are also helpful with parties who may not have the ability (through stress or personality) to represent their viewpoints well to others. on the other hand Lawyers can find it difficult to compromise, though compromise is sometimes needed in mediation. Rarely, lawyers may attend mediation sessions deceptively, not to resolve the conflict but to gather more information for their case to argue it in court. Many mediators are attorneys who have learned to remain neutral in mediation but this is hard for them, as they were not taught in law school to be neutral. Attorneys for many Minneapolis mediation services and St. Paul mediation services are not trained in emotional processes but simply the law. Glen Bickford of Bickford Mediation is trained in how to get people to cooperate, not fight it out in court.
Only One Divorce Lawyer/Attorney in Mediation
Having one party with an attorney in mediation while the other party can be a special challenge. Attorneys can upset the power balance because of the attorney’s knowledge of the law and his/her representation of their party’s position and interests. Special care must be taken to insure the unrepresented party’s position is heard, understood and appreciated. In addition, it can be harder to reach an agreement because the unrepresented party may feel reluctant to sign an agreement without fully understanding it. It is the mediator’s responsibility to take special care that the unrepresented party’s position is adequately heard and understood.See James Christopherson’s article on power imbalance in mediation here: http://www.ddc-law.com/news_events/articlesofinterest/pdfs/Power%20Imbalances%20In%20Mediation.pdf
Glen Bickford (Bickford Mediation) has been involved successfully in many Minnesota divorce mediation and evaluation cases with unrepresented parties. He takes great care to maintain a safe environment and to facilitate a balanced agreement for all parties. Nobody will be forced or coerced into signing an agreement without completely understanding and agreeing with the mediated settlement.