Is Mediation Right for Your York or Harrisburg Divorce?

Five Things That Will Help You Decide

So often, after parties move through family law litigation we hear comments such as, “If only we could have sat down and discussed things face to face, we could have worked out so much of this.” Divorce mediation offers the option for parties to do just that – with help. A mediator (typically an experienced divorce lawyer) will work with the parties to (a) specify concerns; (b) gather information; (c) identify the needs, interests and goals of the parties; and (d) then help them identify options for resolution.

By involving a mediator, parties can often keep discussions on track and proceed in a productive way that they could not manage if they attempted to address those same matters on their own. When there isn’t a “referee” at the table, divorcing couples or parents dealing with custody issues often can’t help but slip back into their old ways of dealing with disputes, which leads to gradually ratcheting up emotions to the point that the talks break down.

Here are five ways to assess whether mediation is right for your situation:

  1. You want to preserve a civil relationship with your spouse after divorce. The reality is that for most divorcing couples, the divorce experience changes their relationship – it doesn’t end it. This is true for divorcing couples with children as well as those who have mutual friends or may have common business interests. Mediation allows couples to work through their differences in a respectful manner so the future relationship is preserved.
  2. You want to achieve a fair resolution. When both of you are interested in achieving a fair resolution, mediation is a great alternative to traditional litigation where the result is unpredictable and often very unsatisfactory for all parties.
  3. You want to control the cost of the process. Mediation is often far less expensive that other process choices related to divorce and custody proceedings. For example, in mediation, you control how often you meet with the mediator.
  4. You want to control the pace of the process. One of the greatest frustrations of traditional divorce litigation is the slow pace of the process. Agreements can be reached in a fraction of the time required in litigation because in mediation you aren’t waiting for the court to tell you when you can address outstanding issues.
  5. You haven’t already reached agreement on all issues. One common misconception about mediation is the claim that you have to have an agreement before meeting with the mediator. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the process of mediation helps guide couples to agreements that they were unable to reach on their own.

If you would like to discuss mediation in more detail, please contact me at (717) 502-5000

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