Written By: Brandy Miller | December 15, 2016 | No Comments

What is a Mediated Divorce?

Mediated divorce is a popular option because it promises to reduce some of the animosity of many divorces. Here’s how a Mediated Divorce works…

  • You and your spouse meet with a Mediator to develop a plan to present to the court regarding matters such as…
    • alimony;
    • support;
    • division of assets;
    • child custody;
    • parenting time;
    • retirement; and
    • other issues.
  • The Mediator…
    • is a trained neutral third party who may or may not be a family law attorney;
    • works to ensure the process is as amicable as possible; and
    • is impartial and gives the same advice and information to both parties;
  • You and your spouse can meet with the mediator as often as is necessary throughout the mediation process.
  • Finally, once you and your spouse have agreed, you both sign a divorce settlement agreement and submit it to the court.

Mediation works best when there are not a lot of complex assets, both spouses are open minded and there is not a lot of animosity. It’s also a good alternative when there are children involved because negotiations are more controlled and most often more amicable.

Alternatives to a Mediated Divorce

  1. Collaborative Divorce
    In a collaborative divorce, you and your partner will each work with your individual attorneys who work within the collaborative divorce model. You will meet with your own attorney and with your partner and their attorney reach an agreement. You may still need to appear in court to sign the final divorce agreement. In addition, if you cannot reach an agreement, you may still need to go through the court process, or you may need to begin the collaborative divorce process again with new attorneys.
  2. Do It Yourself Divorce
    Some couples try to save on legal fees by filing for divorce themselves without the help of a mediator, attorney or other professional. Self-help books couples navigate the divorce process. You don’t technically need a divorce attorney, but unrepresented divorces are risky. Divorce involves complex legal matters, and you may find yourself without your fair share of assets or support if you divorce without professional representation.
  3. Litigated Divorce
    Litigated divorce is the “traditional” type of divorce — one party files for divorce, and the process works its way through the courts. In most cases, couples reach an out-of-court agreement, although in some contentious cases, the case may end up before a judge. Some couples think they want to avoid a litigated divorce, but there are several situations where a litigated divorce may be most appropriate. If a divorce is highly charged or if one party disagrees with the dissolution of the marriage, litigated divorce may be a more appropriate model. A litigated divorce may be the only option if one partner wants to fight the divorce. In cases where considerable assets or complex financial situations are involved, a litigated divorce ensures both parties get a say. If you wish to petition for divorce in Berks County or Reading, Pennsylvania, you may wonder which divorce option is right for you. In general, couples will want to avoid a do-it-yourself option. You will want some legal input to protect yourself, your former partner, children and any other parties involved. However, choosing between a collaborative, mediation or litigation model can be challenging. If you’d like support, contact Miller Law Group for a legal analysis and for advice. Our family law attorneys can help guide you to the right process and can represent you to protect your assets and interests at the end of your marriage so you can enjoy a fresh start.