Going through a divorce can be an emotional process. Even when couples agree to all terms of the divorce, the process of ending a marriage can be difficult. When the parties do not agree to the terms of their divorce, the stress, expense, and time of a litigated divorce action can make matters even tenser. However, using divorce mediation may be a way to resolve issues in a manner that is less costly and time-consuming. A Pennsylvania family law lawyer can review your situation to help you decide if divorce mediation is right for you.
Five Things You Need to Consider If You Want to Mediate Your Divorce Case
Before you agree to mediation, you should consider at least these five things:
1. Can we resolve all issues through mediation?
Mediation can be used to resolve all issues in a divorce case. You and your spouse may be able to draft an agreement that resolves all issues, or you may be able to resolve most issues so that you do not need to litigate everything in court. However, when you are making decisions regarding custody and child support, the court reviews the terms to ensure they are in the best interest of the child before approving any terms related to a child.
2. Do I need to hire an attorney for mediation?
As with any family court matter, you can choose to represent yourself during meditation. However, because the decisions that you make during the mediation process can have long-term implications for you and your children, it is strongly advised that you retain the services of a Pennsylvania family law lawyer to protect your rights and your best interests throughout the mediation process.
3. Will divorce mediation work in my case?
Divorce mediation can be a healthy way for spouses to work through sensitive issues in a private, non-threatening environment. Mediation has several benefits, including allowing spouses to develop a settlement agreement that is tailored to the specific needs of their family.
However, there are cases in which mediation may not be the best option. For example, if you or your spouse does not agree that the marriage has ended or either of you wants revenge for alleged wrongdoing, mediation is likely not to work for you. Likewise, if you or your spouse is not interested in compromising to reach an agreement, mediation will not work.
4. Will my spouse be honest about his or her financial information during mediation?
If you honestly believe that your spouse is hiding assets or income, mediation may not work. For mediation to be successful, both spouses must disclose all assets, debts, and other financial matters at the beginning of the mediation process. A lack of trust can be an obstacle in mediation that you cannot overcome even with the assistance of a Pennsylvania family law lawyer or experienced mediator.
5. Is your divorce case simple?
If your divorce case is simple, you might not need to spend money and time on divorce mediation. When spouses agree on most of the terms of their divorce, they can usually work through their respective Pennsylvania family law lawyers to resolve any other issues. One of the attorneys can draft a settlement agreement to present to the court to save the parties money and time.
If you have questions about the division of marital debt, contact our Pennsylvania family law lawyers to get answers to your questions about mediation.