I informed my counsel to stop all work in my divorce case as we decided to go throught a mediator. I received his notice of hearing on motion indicating "the the undersigned will present for hearing hte withing Motion to Withdraw Representation, etc. with a July 22 @ 9, or as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard. This was also sent to my husband. Do we need to be at this hearing? If so, can I change the date due to my travels? Any guidance would be appreciated.
3 Answers from Attorneys
Your attorney is withdrawing his representation of you and notifying the court he will no longer be representing you. You do not have to attend the hearing and you can consent to his withdrawal if you like.
Going to mediation does not mean you do not need an attorney. More importantly, while a mediator will try to help you and your soon to be ex to reach a separation agreement that will be acceptable to the court. Every mediator should tell you and your ex to have the mediation reviewed by your own attorney.
Before allowing your attorney to withdraw make sure you understand what that means and if your soon to be ex is represented by legal counsel, you might want to keep yours.
If your husband is not represented by legal counsel, it may not be as big a problem. However, I would still want an attorney to review the mediation agreement before you signed it and submitted it to a Court.
I agree strongly with Attorney Roth.
Mediation is not a panacea, and it is not appropriate in every situation. On numerous occasions, we have seen a controlling or dominant people convince their spouses to engage in mediation, knowing full well that their spouse would likely drop their own advocate, be less likely to engage in any aggressive financial discovery, more opportunity to obfuscate and control.
Mediation can only work if both parties have equal bargaining power, equal knowledge of the marital finances, and both have a desire to come to a fair and reasonable outcome.
In any event, there is absolutely no reason that you cannot engage in mediation and at the same time retain counsel who can inform you and look out only for your interests.
There is a communication problem here. You may consider talking to your attorney, and if for no other reason, to get another date. This attorney may charge you for this time. So if you want to let this person go, ask the attorney to file an assented motion to withdraw.
Something is missing in this equation.