Mediators come in all shapes and sizes. There are attorney mediators and non-attorney mediators, both offering to help couples divorce amicably. However, there are some important differences between the two. We have seen many cases come into our office where a couple had originally seen a non-attorney mediator. Aside from the mistakes made in the paperwork, we have seen conduct on the mediators’ behalf that has caused harm to the couple, whether that be financial or emotional. For example, our flat fee rate includes the court’s filing fees and costs. At our office, there are no hidden fees and we can assume due to the code of ethics governing attorneys, other attorney mediators are similar. However, some of these non-attorney mediators say they are taking money for the filing fee to be paid directly to the court but then, without the clients’ knowledge/consent, they are applying for a Court Ordered Fee Waiver. Therefore, they are getting the fees waived and pocketing the money. This is fraudulent. Unfortunately, because they are non-attorneys, they are not held to the same ethical standard.
I know that it can feel expensive when you pay for an attorney to mediate your case. In reality, however, what you may save in the beginning with a non-attorney could end up costing you money in the end due to mistakes and oversights. As an attorney, I have extensive knowledge and expertise to help my clients through a variety of situations. I am held to high standards in my profession and am licensed by the state of California. These factors give my clients a different experience in their divorces. If my clients have other legal issues that arise during the mediation, I can address them properly because of my legal training. If you are looking for a mediator for your divorce, consider some of these factors during your search. We offer a free consultation to help you make your decision as well.