divorce and family mediation in nyc

jennifer safian, divorce mediator

212-472-8626    info@safianmediation.com

Jennifer Safian of safian-mediation.com interviews attorney Timothy L. Horgan about a lawyers place in the mediation process.What is the role of a lawyer during the divorce mediation process?

 As a matrimonial attorney, clients consult me while pursuing mediation typically in the context of wanting to make informed decisions. Particularly in a complex case, a client may find the amount of information offered by the mediator daunting, or may wish to better understand the refinements of a particular issue. Accordingly, I am retained as a kind of sounding board. The client attends the mediation session and then discusses with me what he or she has learned, how it impacts his or her personal case, and what other issues may flow from that particular topic. Having the client feel more comfortable and informed can enhance the future mediation sessions.

At what point in time do you intervene in the process?

The client should advise the mediator and spouse that he or she is also working with a lawyer. Most divorce mediators recommend to their clients that they get advice during the mediation process if needed, and certainly before signing any documents. The relationship should be transparent. Although it may at times seem counterintuitive to a divorcing couple, the mediation process works best where trust is displayed by all concerned. Having an attorney behind the scenes smacks of gamesmanship and can backfire.

Do you help both parties or just one?

If a lawyer is desired, the lawyer should only advise one of the participants as the mediator is the one in a sense representing both parties. With respect to when the attorney should enter the process, I would think at the outset or when the client encounters a difficult issue that he or she wants more information/guidance on.

Timothy J. Horgan, Esq.
The Law Offices of Timothy J. Horgan
New York Office: 575 Madison Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10022
T: (212) 605-0435
Long Island Office: U.S. Trust Building, 1581 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, New York 11501
T: (516) 280-3123
Email: tjhorgan@timhorganlaw.com
Website: www.timhorganlaw.com

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Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
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2017-05-26T07:39:14+00:00 By |Separation/ Divorce Mediation|


  1. Don Sinkov May 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Very true Jennifer. Some clients go to attorneys before or during the mediation process. Others at the end for review. Their needs are different. Consulting attorneys can often help not hurt. I have a list of great attorneys I highly recommend. When we work together, the client benefits. Keep writing your blogs, Don

  2. Joy Rosenthal July 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    This is a lovely blog – very thoughtful, and informative.
    Sometimes people use Consulting Attorneys, if they have questions before they begin or as they go along in the mediation process. If they do not, I think it is really important to have an attorney who is familiar with family law in your state review your agreement before you sign it. That way, you will be sure that you understand how your specific agreement may differ from what the law says. The mediator cannot represent either of you. That said, it is important to find a Review (or Consulting) Attorney who is familiar with mediation and is mediation-friendly, so they will support your participation in the process. That is the best of both worlds!

  3. Theresa Conti July 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm - Reply


    I always enjoy your articles. I will certainly keep you in mind should I know of anyone who can benefit from your services.


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