Couples do not marry with the intention of divorcing. Like you, most expect to live happily or at least contentedly ever after. They make plans, buy property and have children, all with the goal of sharing their futures together. Then life happens, disappointment sets in and trust erodes. If this sounds like your situation, the prospect of divorce may be on your mind.

When your marriage is dissolving, you are probably dealing with overwhelming emotions, stress and confusion. The last thing you need is a divorce process that exacerbates those and creates more negative feelings. Unfortunately, traditional litigated divorce often does just that by placing the spouses on opposing sides and compelling them to battle over the outcomes they are seeking. This is why many divorcing couples choose mediation as their method for ending their marriages.

How is mediation different?

If you think about it, you and your spouse probably have more goals in common than not. With mediation, you can start with this common ground and negotiate the issues in dispute.

The mediation process does not occur in a courtroom. Instead, you and your spouse meet privately with a trained mediator who remains neutral throughout the procedure. The mediator guides you through the discussion, offers suggestions and keeps negotiations moving forward but does not make decisions like a judge would. You and your ex remain in control.

Many couples often find the mediation process offers the following benefits and others:

  • The divorce does not leave them feeling more animosity toward each other, and some even learn new ways to communicate and cooperate.
  • The focus of mediation is to reach a solution, not to win at any cost.
  • Spouses have the freedom to explore more creative options for resolutions than a court may allow.
  • Mental and emotional recovery from the divorce may be easier since mediation can be less destructive than litigation.
  • The terms of the divorce remain private, unlike a litigated divorce that becomes public record.
  • Spouses end up with a settlement that is mutually beneficial and more likely to last for the long term since the decisions are based on their unique circumstances.
  • Mediation is often faster and less expensive.

If you and your spouse choose this gentler method of divorce, it is still wise to have separate legal counsel to make sure your rights are protected. When looking for a Pennsylvania attorney, you will want someone with experience in alternative dispute resolution who is also prepared to take your case to court if negotiations break down.