During a divorce it is important for parties to get legal advice about their situation and to understand how their legal rights may or may not be affected by the decisions they make. This still holds true in mediation. Your mediator will serve the role of a neutral facilitator, helping you to move toward decisions together. While your mediator should educate you about the existing laws that affect your marriage, your mediator cannot and will not give either party legal advice. The mediator will not tell you that you should accept a certain amount as alimony, or that you should forego your share of the IRA. Your mediator may suggest options regarding those issues but cannot tell you what you should do. A review attorney can, and will. A review attorney serves to advise you regarding your legal rights as they pertain directly to your case.
Well then why bother with mediation if I need an attorney anyway, you ask? Because mediation still allows you and your spouse to work out your issues directly, without the need for endless phone calls back and forth between attorneys trying to negotiate the same things that you can negotiate with a mediator and be more cost effective and efficient.
In some cases, the parties will start with a mediator and resolve as many issues as possible and then bring in attorneys for the more challenging issues. The review attorney ensures that your decisions are sound before you fully commit to those decisions. Sometimes review attorneys are engaged from the onset of the mediation serving as a consultant answering any questions that may arise throughout the mediation. Other times, they review only the final Memorandum of Understanding identifying any potential pitfalls. Ordinarily, one spouse’s review attorney will turn the Memorandum of Understanding into a formal Marital Settlement Agreement that the parties will sign, i.e. your divorce contract. That contract will dictate your life going forward. It is in your best interest to ensure you fully appreciate the legal ramifications of it.
What does Wilson Family Law LLC charge for a review attorney? It depends on the level of representation you want and the complexity of the issues. Since every divorce is different, the costs can vary. Your needs and the costs associated with your particular case can be determined during an initial consultation.
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Wilson Family Law LLC
667 Shunpike Road, Suite 5
Chatham, NJ 07928
Office: 973-520-4275 Fax: 973-378-0603