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Mediation an option for some spouses in Philadelphia

Philadelphia residents are likely aware that divorce settlements are often litigated in court. However, in recent years, more people are taking a different route toward settling divorce issues: mediation.

Mediation resolves divorce matters between couples with the help of a neutral mediator. The mediator will work directly with each party and help divorcing the couple reach a mutual agreement. With mediation, the opinions and suggestions of each spouse are considered, and in many cases, conflicts are smoothed out without having to litigate.

Generally, the decision to divorce leads to conflicts. However, complex settlements can be addressed in a cost-effective way through mediation. In this kind of divorce, both parties work with one mediator. The mediator offers personal attention to both spouses about the terms of their agreement, and the spouses meet in a neutral location according to their own schedules, not a court's.

Mediation has been shown to prevent heated arguments and guide both parties to reach a settlement that is beneficial for everyone involved, including the children. Both spouses can also determine exactly how much time is needed to resolve the divorce process. Additionally, conversations, documents and other notes used during the mediation are kept strictly confidential.

There's no denying it: divorce can be a messy business. Not everyone would benefit from a mediated divorce; some divorcing couples just cannot sit in the same room together and come to an agreement without litigation. All divorces, contested or uncontested, have the potential to spiral into a full-blown conflict, and parties on both sides will need legal advocates who can protect their interests in an already difficult situation.

Source: Huffington Post, "Celebrate Mediation Day: Top 10 Reasons To Mediate Your Divorce," Sherri Donovan, Oct. 18, 2012

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