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Mediation as an alternative to divorce litigation

Many Pennsylvanians think that getting a divorce will involve bitter, costly and protracted court litigation. However, one alternative to litigation is divorce mediation, an alternative process that is aimed at helping couples to reach a full settlement agreement.

Divorce mediation is an alternate dispute resolution process through which couples meet with a trained mediator. The mediator meets with each spouse to determine what individual interests they have. The mediator then works to help the spouses reach agreements that will better protect both of their interests. This can help them to have more control over how their assets will be divided and what their divorce orders will contain.

Litigating a divorce in front of a judge may make the process much more expensive and longer. People are often left with divorce orders with which they are unhappy. Divorce mediation, by contrast, allows spouses to work together to try to protect their interests instead of leaving the ultimate decision up to the family court. This may make their divorce less emotionally damaging while also allowing them to move on with their lives. Mediation is not appropriate for everyone. When there are circumstances such as domestic violence or problems with a spouse trying to hide assets, for instance, litigation may be necessary. People who believe their own divorces may be appropriate for mediation may want to discuss the option with their family law attorney who can describe the process and what it entails. If they are able to reach an agreement through mediation, the agreement will be submitted in court. The judge will then adopt the agreement as part of the court's final divorce orders.

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