What to Do When You Cannot Reach a Divorce Agreement
Mediation is the process of negotiating the terms and conditions of your divorce through the help of an unbiased third party. Both partners can use their own respective lawyers to communicate their wishes and discuss possible compromises.
What Happens During Divorce Mediation
Mediation can be used to address many aspects of a divorce, such as:
- Divorce settlements including what assets couples can keep afterwards
- Child support and child custody
- Pet custody and visitation
In many cases, mediation helps couples divorce without the need to go to court. A prenuptial agreement can facilitate the process, but the couple may still contest the agreement and decide to mediate further before settlement.
If the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, then they will have to begin taking inventory of their assets and determining their goals for the mediation process. The mediator will walk the couple through the process step by step. Their goal is to ensure that both people leave the relationship on fair terms. They can help maintain the peace as couples negotiate difficult matters regarding finances, living arrangements, child custody, and more.
What to Do When You Cannot Agree
You cannot settle your divorce until you have both agreed to its terms. There are three ways that you can approach this situation.
You can continue negotiating through divorce mediation until you can reach a desirable compromise. This can be a lengthy process, and you may decide to work with another mediator if you feel as though your negotiations are ineffective or if they have reached an impasse.
You could also look into divorce arbitration. A divorce arbitrator acts as a private judge and makes decisions the same way a judge would. The final decision, referred to as an award, is generally binding on the estranged spouses.
Finally, you can obtain the assistance of divorce attorney. They may also be able to help you reach a divorce settlement without going to court. If you end up in litigation, your divorce attorney will help build a compelling case for your argument in court.
Next Steps After Failed Divorce Mediation
When a couple is unable to settle their divorce in private, they can bring their case before a judge. The mediation discussions remain confidential, which means that the entire case will begin again as though no prior negotiations took place.
Mediation allows the parties to reach conclusions that may be different from how a judge ultimately rules. It allows each estranges spouse greater agency in the final divorce decree, offering flexibility and privacy and making unorthodox solutions possible. Divorce court, on the other hand, is a matter of public record, so the discussions that take place can be revealed to others. Couples who wish to keep their divorce private may want to avoid taking their case to court.
Luckily, mediation can be managed effectively so long as both parties are willing to respectfully negotiate during this process. When a private mediator, such as a friend or family member, cannot help the couple reach a settlement, each spouse can work with a divorce lawyer as an alternative.
Divorce Court After Mediation Fails
Going to court is not mandatory, but it will become necessary if you and your spouse are unable to reach a compromise through other means. If you are confused about the best course of action, then it may be helpful to speak with a divorce lawyer. They can review your current case and propose possible solutions. They can also help you understand your rights and clarify what you can and cannot ask for as part of a divorce settlement.
Connect With a Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer
If you have struggled to resolve your divorce through private mediation, consider speaking with the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner. You can reach our firm by calling us at 215-886-1266. You can also schedule a consultation by requesting an appointment through the form on our website.