The process of going through a divorce, custody dispute, or and other family law matter in Pennsylvania can be a stressful one for everyone involved. An option that many people aren't aware they have is utilizing mediation as a means of settling the legal dispute. There are many advantages to mediation, in fact, parties in a custody dispute in Allegheny County are required to attend an initial mediation to attempt to resolve the issue without further court action.
Mediation is a process where an impartial mediator attempts to facilitate a discussion between the parties in the dispute. The goal is to assist the parties to come up with a resolution that works for both people and allows them to have that agreement entered as an Order of Court on their own terms.
Going through a PA divorce or litigation concerning children can be one of the most stressful things you endure. If a case goes to trial, ultimately, a judge who does not know you or your family will make decisions greatly affecting you and your family. For this reason, as well as the cost saving benefits, mediation is highly encouraged by Pennsylvania family courts.
The opportunity to decide what will happen in your divorce or with the custody of your children instead of someone making that choice for you is not only less stressful for you, but also less stressful on your children. If you and your ex-spouse or ex-partner are willing to compromise, the result, ideally, is a cooperative environment in which children, if you have any, can flourish and witness civility between their parents. Another benefit in addition to lower stress and lower costs, is a case resolved through mediation is completed much quicker than a case that requires litigation. Scheduling cases with a Judge is a lengthy process and may take significant preparation.
Sometimes an agreement is not possible in cases where people are just too far past the point of cooperation and having an amicable conversation about resolving the case may simply not work. In those cases, as with all cases, the paramount concern is the best interest of the children, and the PA family law courts will do whatever is necessary to protect that interest.
Whenever possible, you should consider mediation to help settle a Pennsylvania family law issue. Should the collaborative approach or mediation be impossible for your situation, our attorneys are ready to help you achieve what is in the best interest of your children. Contact our Western PA office to set up a consultation today to discuss your options and any questions you may have about mediation and what you can expect.