Hashing out issues in court with competing attorneys is not the only approach to divorce in Pennsylvania. Professional mediators guide hostile parties of all kinds toward making the decisions necessary to reach agreements.
Essentially, a mediator will create neutral ground where two parties can come together to discuss their problems. In this confidential venue, the mediator allows the participants to state their opinions and needs. The mediator manages the interaction and requires everyone to interact in a civil manner. Through the encouragement of frank conversation, the mediator gets everyone's issues on the table and then steers discussion toward resolving every point of conflict.
Unlike court hearings, mediation could be scheduled flexibly and allow people to meet with little delay. Courtroom procedures need not constrain the ensuing discussions and negotiations. Within only one or two sessions of mediation, people often come to terms. The resulting agreement will be in writing. In the case of divorce mediation, the agreement will be submitted to the court having jurisdiction.
A person who desires a divorce might choose to engage in mediation with the estranged spouse. During those sessions, the division of property and debt could be discussed along with other issues such as child custody and parenting agreements. Mediation might achieve all the agreements necessary to create the terms of the divorce, and taking the mediation route might reduce the amount of time that an attorney needs to be involved. However, after an agreement has been reached, it is advisable that an attorney review it to ensure that it doesn't contain any provisions that could be problematic for the client in the future.