If you are going through legal disputes, it may be important to use legal recourse and the guidance of experts. But with lawyers and mediators, how do you know the difference and which one to approach? Westover Law, expert family law attorneys, outline the main differences between the two.

Roles of mediators and lawyers in legal disputes

Even though lawyers and mediators are professionally trained to settle disputes, there is a primary difference between the two. 

A lawyer’s role in dispute resolution is to act as an advocate for one of the two parties, while a mediator is an objective member who guides the two parties between discussions, negotiations, and finally, a settlement.

Should I choose a mediator or hire a lawyer?

When to choose a mediator?

The mediator is an objective professional who is focused on dispute resolution between the two parties involved. The mediator helps both parties compromise and negotiate in order to reach a successful settlement.

In the case of divorce mediation, hiring a mediator can be cheaper than a lawyer (as court fees are included). When children are involved, it is imperative that the divorce process is carried out as peacefully as possible. A mediator can, thus, encourage the parties to have a more civil dialogue with each other, which may lead to a more cordial relationship in the future as well.

Even though a mediator is involved in the mediation and negotiation process between the two parties, the final decision is taken by them. The mediator does not make any rulings and instead, helps the parties make appropriate compromises to help reach a settlement.

When to choose a lawyer?

Lawyers can be part of the mediation process on either side of the parties. They work towards the best interests of their clients and fight for a favorable settlement.

In case there is no decision or compromise, the lawyer can take the issue to the family court, which is presided over by a judge. However, this can be an expensive process for both parties as well as lengthy.

In most cases, people hire a lawyer to guide them through the mediation process.

For more information on the difference between lawyers and mediators, contact Westover Law today.