When someone thinks of a divorce, they may think of an expensive, drawn-out court battle where important marital property or economic claims are at stake. Many do not know that there is another option that might be better suited to their needs and situation. Instead of going to court, consider divorce mediation.
Mediation allows you and your spouse to collaborate on a solution to divorce, support, property division, and custody issues outside of court, without relying on a judge to make these decisions for you. A focused and thoughtful mediation environment may lead to a more harmonious resolution to domestic relations issues.
If you are new to the topic of divorce mediation, below describes the process and what you should know.
The Divorce Mediation Process
It is important to know that the mediation process is private and the proposals and details discussed in mediation cannot later be used for or against you in divorce-related proceedings in court should the mediation process fail to bring resolution to your situation. While each mediator might do things differently, the process at Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby typically involves the following: (1) Each spouse provides their mediator with background information for their marriage, the marital estate, and issues that are important to the spouse; (2) both spouses attend a meeting (or multiple meetings) with their mediator to discuss issues and take the steps to come to an agreement, and (3) a final, binding settlement agreement is drafted and executed by the parties. If a resolution cannot be established via mediation, the divorce may move forward in court.
Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation
In many cases, divorce mediation allows a couple to save time and money versus going through a legal battle in the court system. Additionally, it is usually seen as an advantage that divorce mediation is confidential and keeps the spouses in control as compared to taking your divorce to court where everything is documented and the final decisions for you, your spouse, and ultimately, your family, are made by the court. On the other hand, if the situation includes abuse or addiction, those circumstances are usually better for the court to take into their hands and important to document for the spouse and children’s future and safety.
RELATED: Read our tips for a fair divorce settlement.
Divorce does not always have to involve extensive litigation in a court setting and can be dealt with on a more relaxed and comfortable level. If you are wondering if divorce mediation might be right for you, contact our experienced divorce attorneys to discuss your options.
At Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby, we are deeply experienced in Pennsylvania family law. To discuss your situation and options, contact the Pittsburgh attorneys at Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby. You may reach us online or call us at 412-261-4040.
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Mediation in Divorce Matters