Using Mediation to Settle Differences in a Divorce
Your marriage may be over, but you may not want to get into a long and protracted battle over custody, visitation, support and property distribution. Mediation may be the best approach for you.
In mediation, instead of engaging in an adversarial process, you and your ex-spouse work with a neutral third party known as a mediator. The mediator acts as a facilitator, helping both of you identify mutually beneficial ways to resolve your disputes. The mediator has no vested interest in a particular outcome, but is simply charged with helping you and your ex come to agreement on issues related to custody and visitation, support and property allocation.
Mediation offers a number of advantages over the traditional divorce process:
- Because the mediator does not listen to legal arguments or make legal decisions, there is no need for lengthy and expensive discovery proceedings, such as depositions or the production of documents. There are also no motion hearings, debates over the admissibility of evidence or other costly procedures. Accordingly, mediation is typically far less expensive than litigation.
- Mediation usually takes far less time. With most mediators, you can typically schedule the mediation within a couple months, often within 30 days. The process itself can usually be completed in a day or less, unless you have really complex issues.
- With mediation, you get a say in the outcome. You can propose ways to resolve your differences and you can always reject a settlement offer from your ex. You don’t have to wait for a third party (judge or jury) to make a decision, with a 50/50 chance of winning or losing.
In mediation, any solution you come to will be one that you and your ex have crafted. The mediator does not make determinations of who is right and who is wrong, and won’t issue any rulings. The mediator may express concerns that one party has undue influence over the other, but won’t consider testimony from third parties and won’t be concerned about evidence or legal arguments, unless they can be used to move you toward settling your differences.
Contact Attorney Joanne E. Kleiner
Let us help you find a workable solution to a marital property dispute. Contact our office online or call us at 215-886-1266 to schedule a confidential consultation. We will help you stay focused on the issues that matter.