What is Mediation?

Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution, which is available to parties undergoing separation, divorce or custody issues.  Mediation is different than traditional divorce or custody litigation, because the parties work together to decide between themselves what is best for them and their children.

In traditional divorce litigation, the parties are adversaries and the decision is left in the hands of the master or judge.  In Divorce or Custody Mediation, the mediator does not act as an advocate or a judge, rather, the mediator helps the parties work together to decide on their own how to resolve their differences.

Parties can mediate issues relating to separation, divorce or custody, such as: co-parenting arrangements, custody schedules, custody support, spousal support, division of property and co-habitation agreements.  The mediator will work with the parties to resolve their differences and prepare a written agreement for the parties to sign.

The parties may bring their agreement to independent counsel before the agreement is signed.  If corrections or changes are needed and both parties agree, then the mediator will make the changes.  The agreement may take effect immediately upon signing and will legally govern the parties until they decide to divorce.  Once the parties decide to divorce, the agreement can be incorporated into the divorce decree.

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Five Step Program

STEP 1

Set the framework between you, your spouse and the divorce expert.

STEP 2

Create a parenting plan outlining custody needs.

STEP 3

Determine how to split up your things.

STEP 4

Review and sign the Agreement.

STEP 5

File your Agreement with the Court.

Benefits of Mediation

Economical Decisions

Mediation is generally less expensive when contrasted to the expense of litigation or other forms of fighting.

Rapid Settlements

In an era when it may take as long as a year to get a court date, and multiple years if a case is appealed, the mediation alternative often provides a more timely way of resolving disputes. When parties want to get on with business or their lives, mediation may be desirable as a means of producing rapid results.

Mutually Satisfactory Outcomes

Parties are generally more satisfied with solutions that have been mutually agreed upon, as opposed to solutions that are imposed by a third party decision-maker.

High Rate of Compliance

Parties who have reached their own agreement in mediation are also generally more likely to follow through and comply with its terms than those whose resolution has been imposed by a third party decision-maker.

Comprehensive and Customized Agreements

Mediated settlements are able to address both legal and extra-legal issues. Mediated agreements often cover procedural and psychological issues that are not necessarily susceptible to legal determination. The parties can tailor their settlement to their particular situation.

Greater Degree of Control and Predictability of Outcome

Parties who negotiate their own settlements have more control over the outcome of their dispute. Gains and losses are more predictable in a mediated settlement than they would be if a case is arbitrated or adjudicated.

Personal Empowerment

People who negotiate their own settlements often feel more powerful than those who use surrogate advocates, such as lawyers, to represent them. Mediation negotiations can provide a forum for learning about and exercising personal power or influence.

Preservation of an Ongoing Relationship or Termination of a Relationship in a More Amicable Way

Many disputes occur in the context of relationships that will continue over future years. A mediated settlement that addresses all parties’ interests can often preserve a working relationship in ways that would not be possible in a win/lose decision-making procedure. Mediation can also make the termination of a relationship more amicable.

Workable and Implementable Decisions

Parties who mediate their differences are able to attend to the fine details of implementation. Negotiated or mediated agreements can include specially tailored procedures for how the decisions will be carried out. This fact often enhances thelikelihood that parties will actually comply with the terms of the settlement.

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Divorce and Custody Mediation services offered at Family Law Corp. – Family Law, Divorce and Custody on Main Line, Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania counties by top family law attorneys.