The Atighechi Law Group is available to provide consulting services for meditative dissolution.  When parties decide to mediate legal issues it is important for a spouse to retain a consulting attorney.  The mediator does not represent either party and is neutral therefore it is best to seek the advice of counsel to analyze the legal implications of the settlement, review marital agreements and advise the party as to his/her rights and entitlement to ensure their needs are met.   Consulting attorneys may also be retained to review prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements prepared by another attorney who represented one spouse and not the other or both parties.  It is mandatory for both parties to a prenuptial agreement have their own counsel to sign off on the agreement especially if spousal support is being waived.  The spousal support provision would not be binding without both parties having independent counsel.

In my experience, I have clients coming to me wanting to set aside a final judgment because they felt like they were strong-armed in mediation and did not have an attorney to properly advise them on their rights.  Mediation is difficult because you will not receive representation and with all the complexities of the legal implications of the assets and debts it is confusing to a weaker party and will leave that weaker party feeling pressured into signing a document they do not believe is proper.  To set aside a judgment is extremely difficult because it is only in rare situations with compelling facts that a court will set aside a judgment.  So, if you are in mediation or have a prenuptial agreement it is best to consult with an attorney.

It is best to always retain independent counsel as it is impossible for an attorney who represents both parties to further your best interest.