Because divorce and separation involve legal questions, divorcing parties should be educated regarding their legal rights before agreeing to a settlement. Mediating parties are no exception.
The way in which a party works with his/her consulting attorney varies widely depending on that party’s need. Many parties consult independent counsel before signing an agreement. For example, one party may confer with his/her independent counsel before each mediation meeting to help prepare for that meeting. Another might not consult with independent counsel until he/she is getting ready to sign an agreement. It just depends on what is most optimal for each party.