Chester County Family Attorney Provides Divorce Mediation Services
An alternative providing a more amicable parting of the ways
Divorce mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce that allows divorcing spouses to reach an agreement by settling their differences outside of court, saving them both time and expense. Morton Family Law, LLC provides divorce mediation for clients who are interested in pursuing this approach in West Chester, Chester County and the surrounding areas.
How does divorce mediation work?
A mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates the mediation process by helping spouses reach a compromise.
The mediation process is typically voluntary and less formal than a trial. However, the court may also order mediation to resolve child custody disputes. Disputed issues that divorce mediation addresses may include:
Child support — Child support payments may be better handled in a less formal setting. The paying parent may accept a negotiated agreement more readily than a judge's edict.
Equitable distribution — Equitable distribution only requires that the property division is fair. Spouses have a large degree of creative freedom to pursue a solution that is mutually beneficial.
- Visitation rights — Visitation rights are essential to maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship. The mediation setting can provide the freedom necessary to develop a plan.
- Alimony — Alimony is often a difficult issue. The paying party may be more receptive to alimony after establishing goodwill on preliminary items.
In fact, mediation is not limited to matters of divorce -- it can resolve custody and support issues as well. Spouses may have their own lawyers and independently seek legal advice during the mediation process. When all matters are decided, the mediator drafts a memorandum of agreement that specifies the agreement reached by the parties in the mediation. Both parties then consult with their family law attorney to ensure the agreement is satisfactory, and a final settlement agreement is prepared and signed by both spouses. It is submitted to the court and, becomes part of the final divorce decree.
What is divorce arbitration?
Arbitration is another method of nonjudicial alternative dispute resolution. Typically, parties agree to hire an arbitrator when they are unable to move forward but still desire an amicable divorce. The arbitrator schedules a hearing in which both parties and their attorneys may present statements, witnesses and other evidence. An arbitrator can facilitate the divorce process more quickly than the court system because he or she issues a decision within 30 days of the hearing. The arbitration process offers other benefits as well:
- It is confidential — You never reveal intimate marital details in public.
- It is convenient — The couple can schedule the hearing date.
- It is limited — Spouses control the issues brought before the arbitrator.
- It can be final —The arbitrator’s decision, like a judge’s, can be included in settlement agreements.
What are the advantages to using a West Chester, PA divorce mediator or arbitrator?
Through a cooperative rather than an adversarial approach, mediation provides the opportunity for couples to fulfill their needs and arrive at solutions together. And because couples resolve the issues themselves during mediation, there is more freedom to be creative with solutions and address specific situations. By avoiding courtroom litigation, couples are spared from airing private matters, such as financial troubles or extramarital affairs, in public. Those issues discussed in mediation or arbitration remain private, generating less stress for couples with children. Finally, couples are usually more inclined to be satisfied with the mediated outcome or a limited decision by an arbitrator than an all-inclusive, sweeping ruling by a judge.
Divorce cases involving domestic violence or drug abuse may not be well suited for mediation. Your Chester County divorce lawyer can advise and help you decide whether mediation is a favorable option for your divorce.
Let us be your guiding light through the mediation or arbitration process
Mediation and arbitration can significantly reduce the stress and conflict of the divorce process. Call Morton Family Law, LLC today at 888-698-1787 or contact us online to speak to an attorney experienced in these alternative dispute resolution methods.