As an attorney, you may think my answer to this question is a little biased. What most people don’t know is that essentially a joint divorce agreement which is what a mediator helps a couple draft, can just as easily be done by an attorney for about the same cost. There is one advantage to using an attorney however. An attorney will also take care of all of the court filing and the necessary paperwork that accompanies it. An attorney will also appear in court with you on your divorce date and walk you through the process.
Mediation is a business and a for profit business at that. I see people all the time who feel that there is less of a stigma to going the mediation route rather than “lawyering” up. What they don’t understand is that for about the same cost, they get more service for their money by hiring a lawyer to draft their joint divorce agreement.
Then the next comment I get is that a lawyer can only represent one party and that the other party needs to have counsel review the agreement. While that is true, it is also true that when you use a mediator for your joint divorce, both parties are encouraged to have the agreement reviewed by counsel so that’s two more lawyers that have to get paid because the mediator can’t represent either party.
As a practicing attorney for 23 years, my business is about mediating and negotiating agreements fairly and equitably. I believe that people get more for their money by hiring a lawyer for their joint divorce as opposed to using a mediator.