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Four Reasons to Consider Mediation During Divorce and One Reason Not To

By Sheryl Rentz on April 23, 2013

Mediation uses a neutral third party, called a mediator, to help divorcing couples find common ground and resolve contentious issues during the divorce process. Decisions made in mediation are not typically binding, and the couple may still go to court to resolve any issues left open after mediation. You also have the option to work with your experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney during mediation.

Mediation can offer several benefits, but it isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering or currently negotiating a divorce, here are four reasons to consider mediation – and one situation in which you shouldn’t.

  • Focus. Mediation helps both parties focus on the issues, rather than on their anger or frustration with one another.
  • Qualifications. A good mediator has experience with the law and with negotiation, as well as training in mediation. Your attorney can often help you choose a mediator.
  • Analysis. Mediation analyzes financial positions, custody arrangements, and other issues as thoroughly as they would be analyzed in court.
  • Breadth. Mediation can help you resolve any issue you could resolve in court, including financial settlements, custody, and support.

When is mediation a bad idea?

If violence or the threat of violence has occurred, mediation may not be the right choice – both due to the threat of physical safety and the broken trust that makes agreements tough to reach. Similarly, if your spouse is mentally impaired by illness, injury, or substance use, mediation may not be a good choice. Speaking to your attorney in these situations before deciding on mediation is your best option.

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