One of the most frequently asked questions about the divorce mediation process is whether you are allowed (or encouraged) to have an attorney during the process. The short answer is that you are absolutely permitted to have a lawyer present during the process if that is your preference. Your attorney can be a resource and provide legal information about the paperwork that will be needed to file with the courts and help you think through the solutions that are arrived at during the mediation process. Lisa Kallemeyn of Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn can represent you during the mediation process and serve as a legal resource for you during this process. She is a divorce attorney with more than 20 years of experience serving the Coon Rapids, Blaine, Ham Lake, Andover, Anoka and Champlin, MN area.
Role of Divorce Attorney Vs. Divorce Mediator
One important thing to note about a lawyer’s role in the mediation process is that an attorney cannot both provide legal representation and mediation services to the same client. Many family law attorneys can serve as your attorney OR a divorce mediator (if appropriately trained), but never both. Mediation is a process for settling divorce which uses a neutral, third party (mediator) to help a couple settle important issues such as division of assets, debts and property, development of a parenting plan (custody arrangement) and child or spousal support payments. The mediation process empowers the couple to settle these issues through positive and productive discussions, rather than relying on the courts to determine resolution. An attorney, who is also trained and qualified in mediation, can serve as a mediator, but in this case, he/she is the mediator, not representing either party legally.
An attorney can be helpful in the mediation process by providing support in the following areas:
- Document preparation for the mediation process
- Offers advice, guidance and information during the mediation process, but the attorney does not speak for the client or treat the process as a litigation in any way.
- Discuss pros and cons (in private between mediation sessions) about the various proposals set forth during the mediation process.
- Help facilitate clear and positive communication during the mediation process by clearing up questions or miscommunication.
- Assistance with filing legal documents after the divorce mediation is complete
Minnesota Divorce Mediation Support
Lisa Kallemeyn is a divorce attorney who is also a Qualified Neutral under Rule 114 of the MN Rules of Practice. She has extensive experience with the divorce mediation process and can support you in a number of ways. She can provide legal support for the divorce process or serve as a divorce mediator, but cannot serve in both roles for the same case. If you are interested in settling your divorce using divorce mediation, contact Lisa directly at (763) 427-5131 to learn more about the process so you can make the best possible decision for your unique situation.