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12 Apr 2024 Why choose a specialised divorce mediator who is also a lawyer?

In the tangle of emotions and all the things that need to be arranged during a divorce, it is crucial that both parties can count on expert guidance. The difference in guidance between a specialised divorce mediator who is also a (family law) lawyer and a mediator without a legal background is crucial, especially when it comes to legal competence and therefore the constancy of the agreements to be made by the parties. In this article, I explain why, in the case of a divorce, entrepreneurs and/or wealthy individuals are well advised to choose a mediator specialising in family law who is also a lawyer.

The lawyer's onerous obligation of care

A recent case handled by the Raad van Discipline in Den Bosch sheds light on the consequences of negligence within the legal profession in divorce cases. A lawyer was suspended for failing to provide adequate information and making substantial legal errors in divorce cases. As it turned out, the lawyer frequently submitted to the court divorce covenants drafted by mediators with little or no legal training, without first properly checking and discussing them with the divorcing partners. This case highlights the onerous obligation of care incumbent on lawyers, an obligation that mediators without a lawyer's title do not have. Lawyers are bound by strict professional and ethical standards, always putting the client's interests first.

Why a specialised family law lawyer-mediator?

A specialised family law lawyer-mediator combines the skills of mediation with in-depth legal knowledge. This ensures that the agreements reached are not only fair and balanced, but also legally correct and binding. For entrepreneurs and people with significant assets, this is invaluable. The complexity of financial and business interests requires a deep understanding of both family law and the challenges facing divorcing entrepreneurs or wealthy spouses.

Cheap is expensive

A common misconception is that using a mediator without a lawyer's title is a cheaper route to divorce. However, the value of the duty of care offered by a lawyer cannot be overemphasised. This duty of care ensures that all agreements are thoroughly evaluated and that both parties fully understand the implications of these agreements. Failure to comply with this duty of care can lead to significant long-term financial and emotional damage. The initial savings outweigh the potential costs of legal errors and omissions for the future. Adulterants are always more expensive in the long run.

The role of the lawyer in divorce proceedings

Every divorce that goes to court must be accompanied by a lawyer. The purpose of this legal obligation is to ensure that the divorce agreement and all related documents are legally checked. A specialised family law lawyer-mediator ensures that this process is carried out carefully and thoroughly, paying attention to the unique circumstances of each case. The lawyer will recognise when it is necessary to involve a tax expert or accountant in the process, for example, to have certain agreements worked through or to highlight various tax or financial aspects.

Conclusion

If you are at the beginning or in the middle of a divorce process, choosing a specialised family law lawyer-mediator is a choice for certainty, quality and peace of mind. The integrated approach of legal and mediation skills ensures that the best interests of both parties are represented. Especially for entrepreneurs and individuals with significant assets, where the financial and business implications can be complex, choosing a lawyer-mediator is not only wise but essential. Do not be fooled by the apparent savings of a non-legal mediator; the true costs of such a decision can be significant both financially and emotionally. At SPEE lawyers & mediators, you can contact Ms Angelique van den Eshoff, a specialised family law lawyer and mediator. She is also a member of the vFAS, which means you can rest assured that the onerous obligation of care incumbent on her as a lawyer is supplemented by the requirements the vFAS imposes on that duty of care.

SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht

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