Divorce Basics

September 23, 2016 | Alternative Dispute Resolution, Divorce, Legal Perspective, Mediation

Icon for author Joseph Williams Joseph Williams

Just like every wedding is unique and different, every divorce is slightly different from all others as well. Although there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter divorce, there are some common basics that apply to almost everyone facing divorce regardless of the length of their marriage, the reason for the breakup or the size of their marital estate.

Read and Understand

Read and understand everything that is prepared and filed on your behalf or on behalf of your spouse. In divorce cases, it is not uncommon for a settlement agreement or other document to be revised several times after receiving input from both spouses and their attorneys. It is critical you review and understand each draft and to speak to your attorney for further explanation if you are unsure of the overall content or even a single paragraph. Similarly, avoid signing any document unless you are sure you understand each provision.


Court cases of all kinds, including divorces, come with strict deadlines for filing papers and providing copies of documents. Even with your busy work and child related schedules, it is important to keep track of all divorce deadlines and make certain that you are turning in all documents on time. If you find that you cannot meet a deadline, or an illness or other family emergency caused you to miss a deadline, be certain to contact your Pittsburgh divorce attorney as soon as you realize that there is a problem. Depending on the specific circumstances, your attorney may be able to obtain a deadline extension on your behalf.

Consider Mediation

It is not uncommon for a divorcing couple to want to try and avoid going to court and having a judge make important life decisions. After all, the Judge does not know you or your family. Additionally, most people would prefer to maintain control over the cost of divorcing. While mediation may not be appropriate for every divorce case, it is important to discuss the pros and cons with a Pittsburgh divorce mediation attorney.


Whether you ultimately attempt to reconcile your marriage, enter into mediation or go to trial, the divorce process can be nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster. The American Institute of Stress lists divorce as the second greatest life stressor, with only the death of a spouse ranking higher. That level of stress makes it important for every person facing the end of their marriage to consider speaking to a trained counselor or therapist throughout the divorce process.

If you are thinking about getting divorced, it is important to speak with a divorce mediation lawyer as soon as possible.  Even if you decide your case is not appropriate for mediation for any reason, the team of lawyers at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, are ready to help you and to develop a strategy that will best protect your interests.  Call today at (412) 471-9000 to speak to one of our lawyers or use our online contact form.

About the Author

Joseph R. Williams, partner at Pollock Begg, maintains a comprehensive family law practice including all types of economic cases, custody and visitation, protection from abuse and support. A dynamic member of the legal community, Joe has been recognized with numerous awards for his achievements and leadership. He frequently authors for legal publications as well as mainstream media and lectures and moderates at continuing legal education seminars.

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