Mediation is a voluntary process in which one impartial professional, called a “mediator”, assists a couple in resolving the issues related to their divorce, break-up or separation. After the couple has reached agreement upon all of their financial and parenting matters, they can opt to sign a legally binding written agreement if they both desire to do so. Mediators do not provide legal advice or make decisions for the parties.
Mediation Services — Erin McKinley as Mediator
If a couple is interested in hiring Erin McKinley as their mediator, they should schedule a consultation to meet with Ms. McKinley together. Click here to schedule a joint mediation consultation with Erin McKinley.
If Erin McKinley is hired as the mediator, she will not be providing legal advice or advocacy for either party. As the mediator, Erin McKinley’s role will be that of a neutral facilitator. Each of the parties to the mediation will be urged to consult with an attorney of his/her own choosing.
Obtaining Legal Advice — Erin McKinley as Consulting Attorney
If you are interested in hiring Erin McKinley to provide you with legal advice relative to your mediation process, you should schedule a private consultation, without your spouse or partner present. Click here to schedule a private consultation with Erin McKinley.
Working with your own consulting attorney during the mediation process can be helpful in many ways. A consulting attorney can meet with you before and after mediation sessions to:
- Answer your questions about the law
- Explain and clarify legal concepts raised by your spouse/partner or the mediator
- Work with you to create a list of items requiring discussion
- Help you gather and analyze the financial information that may be relevant to your situation
- Explore alternative solutions with you
- Prepare the legal documents needed
- separation agreement
- divorce papers
- orders dividing retirement accounts
- other legal papers
- Review the legal papers prepared by your spouse/partner’s attorney
- Help you understand the legal language in your agreement
If you and your spouse/partner are going to use mediation, the best time to hire a consulting lawyer is before mediation begins, but you can begin working with an attorney at any time. Consulting attorneys do not usually attend mediation sessions with you, but can do so if permitted by the mediator and agreed to by your spouse/partner. Erin McKinley will act as attorney for only one spouse/partner, not both. If both spouses/partners desire legal assistance, a second attorney should be hired.