Another cutting-edge, growing family law trend, mediation is an alternative dispute resolution option in divorce in which the parties jointly hire a mediator to assist them in working out a mutually satisfactory agreement and avoid going to court. The parties play a critical role in resolving their own disputes, often resulting in more creative solutions and preserved relationships. The parties each retain separate counsel as in litigation to provide legal advice before and after the mediation sessions.

How is a mediator different from a lawyer?

Mediators do not give legal advice like a collaborative divorce lawyer will, but rather are hired to resolve the dispute. Different mediation models have different recommendations as to whether the parties should also individually have their own Pittsburgh divorce mediation attorney to provide advice and guidance outside the mediation sessions and in preparation for them.

How is mediation different from arbitration or divorce court?

A mediator cannot make a decision for the parties like in arbitration or in typical divorce proceedings. The mediator drafts an agreement, called a memorandum of understanding, and it becomes an enforceable document once the parities prepare and finalize it. The final decision is only binding if both parties codify what they say in court.

Will my mediator meet with my attorney?

The mediator meets with both parties usually alone, but yes, sometimes with one or both attorneys. Each situation is slightly different.

What are the benefits of mediation?

Even if couples cannot agree on all of the issues, mediation can be helpful in resolving a large portion of the dispute. This resolution can shorten the time to resolve divorce proceedings significantly. Typically, mediation will save the client money in the long run, is private, faster and less stressful.

For more information, call our office or contact one of our certified mediators, Candice Komar and Stephanie Jablon.

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