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Is mediation right for you?

It is understandable if you felt sad or worried when you realized your marriage was headed for divorce. Like many Pennsylvania parents who have gone through divorce, you may have been most concerned with how your situation would impact your children's lives. Perhaps your main goal is to resolve the issues at hand as swiftly and amicably as possible so that you and your kids can leave the past behind and start adapting to your new lifestyle.  

Perhaps you have heard of the divorce mediation process, which is essentially an alternate form of dispute resolution for those who wish to avoid courtroom litigation. There are many benefits to choosing mediation in divorce; however, there are also numerous issues that would suggest it is not the best option for some people. How do you know whether mediation would work for you? By learning more about the process and applying it to your own circumstances, you may be able to determine if litigation is necessary.  

Mediation involves commitment to peaceful discussions     

If your divorce situation is highly emotionally charged and you are struggling with negative feelings toward your spouse, it may prove difficult to achieve a fair and agreeable settlement through mediation. This is because the whole basis of mediation is to agree to wish the other person well and peacefully resolve pertinent issues, such as child custody, property division and financial matters.  

If there are bad vibes between you and your spouse and you think it would be nearly impossible to sit down and have a series of calm, amicable discussions, then mediation may not be the best option in your current circumstances.  

If there are serious matters that need the court's attention 

Perhaps you are getting divorced, not simply because you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences, but because there are serious issues at-hand, such as physical or emotional abuse or problems with drug or alcohol addiction. You may believe your spouse is unfit to parent at this time. Mediation is likely not going to work for you because such matters typically require court intervention. 

Do you need someone to advocate on your behalf?   

Even if you have no ill feelings toward your spouse, it doesn't necessarily mean you feel equipped to negotiate the terms of your settlement on your own. If you're more comfortable allowing someone experienced in divorce laws to speak and act on your behalf, you may want to litigate your divorce.  

It is okay to change your mind 

Perhaps you want to try divorce mediation, but at some point, you might determine that it's not working. Many Pennsylvania spouses switch to litigation when they realize that they are not able to resolve their disagreements regarding custody, support or other family-related matters in divorce mediation.  

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