Mediation has become a popular alternative to litigated divorce. Instead of arguing over the end of the marriage in court, a couple can privately negotiate and set their own terms with the help of a professional mediator, allowing for a faster and potentially more affordable divorce.

Unfortunately, divorce mediation also has some major pitfalls, particularly for people who try to go through the process without their own legal representation. Having a lawyer represent you can help you avoid some of the most common issues that arise during mediation.

Your ex could bully or coerce you into unfavorable terms

If you don’t have someone there advocating for your best interests, you could easily wind up tricked into accepting less than you deserve. Not only could your ex bully, abuse or distract you from the negotiations, but you might not even be aware of your rights under Massachusetts law.

From waiving spousal support to feeling too stressed to push for a fair and reasonable parenting plan, there are many mistakes that you can make in mediation without the right help. An attorney will push for the best possible outcome and know if the terms violate your rights under state law.

Your attorney can negotiate more calmly than you will

Whether the issue at hand is the ownership of a cherished heirloom or how you split holiday parenting time, your emotions could prevent you from being your own best advocate. An experienced lawyer can approach mediation calmly and negotiate strongly on your behalf.

If you confide in your lawyer about the terms that matter the most to you, they can push for more initially in order to ensure you have flexibility for negotiation later on in the process. If you think that mediation could be the best way for you and your spouse to handle your divorce, you might want to look over our family law practice pages to help you prepare.