We get asked this question a lot and the answer is yes, you do need an attorney with you at mediation. But as with any good lawyer-ly answer, it depends on how you define need.
If you define need as a requirement where you are going to go to jail if you don't have an attorney with you at mediation, or a requirement of the Court, then no, you do not need an attorney with you at mediation.
If you want to have a productive experience at mediation and you want to know what you don't know, then you really do need an attorney at mediation.
Mediators are duty bound they their code of ethics NOT to give legal advice. If you go to mediation without an attorney, you have no one advising you. Mediating issues as important as, where are my kids going to grow up and how am I going to live the rest of my life without my spouse, really do require advice.
We meet with dozens of prospective clients each year who attended mediation on their own, in their original case, and are now realizing it was a mistake. There are errors and omissions in their agreements, or they felt bullied during the process.
The better question to ask yourself is, I'm going to mediation, do I want to do this once the right way, or suffer through years of regret and then have to redo everything?
This is exactly why we say you need an attorney with you at mediation, even if you don't technically NEED an attorney...get it?
If you have any questions about mediation and why an attorney is important in your Florida Divorce or custody dispute, please contact our office.