Mediation does not replace an attorney experienced in the area of
marital and family law for each party. Each party is urged to seek
independent legal counsel because, although some mediators are
attorneys, the mediator is not allowed to give legal advice.
The mediator's role is neutral and not a substitute for independent
legal advice. The mediator does not represent either party, but focuses
on helping the parties reach their own agreement. While the decisions
reached in mediation are made by the parties, it is important that they
be informed decisions.
Attorneys may attend mediation sessions. The parties may consult
their lawyers during the mediation process. If both parties are aware
of their respective legal rights and have been fully informed by their
own attorneys, the mediation process can be much more beneficial.
Upon completion of the mediation, the mediator will submit the
memorandum of agreement to the parties' attorneys. If necessary, the
attorneys will draft a settlement agreement from the terms of the
memorandum, for filing with the court.