Dad (age 87) has difficulty processing information; is easily confused; and often stumbles in attempting to communicate trying to remember everyday words. The process is intimidating and brings on much anxiety for him, with detrimental physical symptoms. He would be so happy to not have to deal with all the legal ramifications and let me represent his interests. I've already succeeded in opting-out of mediation, which was physically and emotionally detrimental to him and accomplished nothing.
I assume you've seen sword fighting? Just think of a divorce proceeding as a sword fight with verbal instead of sharp metal bladed swords.
Any kind of litigation, especially adversarial proceedings such as divorce, is not for someone who doesn't have the experience in dealing with aggressive attorneys. It takes someone who's experienced in verbal combat. The wife's attorney will literally "chew you up".
In addition, your involvement could very easily jeopardize your father's position, especially if you involve yourself with making decisions.
Once your attorney has filed an appearance on your father's behalf, he/she alone can represent him.
Litigation is often a finely and delicately played out game, like 2 tennis pros lobbing balls into each other's court. There's a rhythm as well as protocol, not to mention court rules. But the game can also be akin to male lions fighting for dominance and territory - anything goes. It is NOT for someone with no legal experience.
Better to express your desires to protect your father and allow the attorney to handle the ogre on the other side of the table. Your attorney will negotiate down the wife's demands.
I'm assuming, however that your father's attorney is a family law or divorce lawyer. If not, you need someone with that specific practice area experience.
I'm assuming by your usage of the word "the wife" that this is not your mother. Have they been married long? Has it been a marriage in the real sense of the word? Maybe there is a loophole somewhere that a lawyer could help with. A very aggressive and intimidating lawyer would be helpful on his side, too. Should be a 50/50 split at best.