When many Pennsylvania couples think of divorce, they think of long trials in front of a judge. However, couples do not have to go this route. If they can work together, they may have the option of going through mediation.
Mediation takes place at a neutral location and usually involves the two former spouses, their attorneys and a mediator. The mediator's job is to assist both sides with reaching an agreement. However, this does not mean that either spouse has to agree with something that they do not want to. This also gives couples the chance to ask for things that they want but may not get if they go in front of a judge. For example, one former spouse may ask for additional alimony that would likely may not have been granted by a judge.
Another benefit to mediation is that it is often cheaper and does not take as long as litigated proceedings. In many cases, divorces that go to trial can last for months. Divorces that are finalized following mediation can be over in several weeks depending on the ex-couple's ability to work together. If the couple cannot come to a decision, they may still settle before the trial takes place.
When it comes to a divorce, the division of property and debt can be difficult especially if the couple has been married for awhile or if they have a large amount of separate and marital property to work through. If an agreement cannot be made through mediation, a family law attorney representing one of the parties may assist in determining what assets are marital and which are separately owned and then attempting to negotiate a settlement on that basis.