Divorce can be a daunting topic and situation to approach. When many think of divorce, one important item that usually comes to mind is the topic of alimony. Some may worry that they will have to pay a large amount of alimony each month while some may worry that they will not get their fair share of alimony. Another assumption that many may make regarding alimony is that, when alimony is involved, it needs to be decided by the court; however, that is not the case. Mediation can be used to reach an agreement without the necessity of court intervention.
Before sharing how mediation can positively impact alimony, let’s discuss the difference between determining alimony in court vs. determining alimony via mediation. If going the court route, the court may award alimony only where it finds such is necessary, as alimony is a secondary remedy as part of equitable distribution of the marital estate. This is a complicated determination that is dependent on 17 factors specifically set forth in the Pennsylvania Divorce Code. Learn more about those factors here. When going the mediation route, you and your spouse can collaborate on a solution with the control in your hands without relying on a judge to make these decisions for you.
Now, here are some of the ways mediation can positively impact alimony:
- Gain Flexibility and Control
Mediation gives both parties involved in the divorce flexibility and control to resolve this issue together. With mediation, each party is immensely involved in negotiating their own alimony agreement. In addition, a settlement cannot be imposed upon you. You can make the decision to accept or reject negotiations and make negotiations of your own.
- Focus on the Future
It is easy for alimony discussions to focus on what has happened in the past which, at times, may cause feelings of resentment and anger. This can be especially true when taking your divorce to court. On the other hand, a thoughtful mediation environment can lead to a more harmonious resolution with a focus on the future in mind which is most important so you can ensure your future plans set you up for success.
RELATED: Learn more about what you need to know about divorce mediation.
- Save Costs
In many cases, divorce mediation allows a couple to save time and money versus going through a legal battle in the court system. With alimony in mind and a focus on your future, saving money can be beneficial to you and your ex-spouse down the road.
- Protect Yourself
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 and discussions regarding alimony.
Mediation might seem like a difficult route to take if you are not knowledgeable of divorce and the many factors involved in a divorce such as alimony. Luckily, you will not have to go through the process alone. You will have your experienced divorce attorney by your side the whole time to guide you through the entire process with the goal of achieving the outcome most desirable to you.
At Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby, we are deeply experienced in Pennsylvania family law and offer mediation services in appropriate cases. To discuss your options, contact the Pittsburgh attorneys at Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby. You may contact us online or call us at 412-261-4040.
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