How Mediation Helps With Family Law

Meditation is an increasingly common way of resolving divorce and other disputes in family law. Some courts may even require the parties to seek mediation in child custody disputes or other cases.

With my Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, law office, CLM Family Law Services, LLC, I help many clients resolve their disputes over property division, child custody, spousal support and other difficult issues in family law. For clients and cases where it is appropriate, I have found that mediation provides a good way to resolve cases without many of the downsides of traditional courtroom litigation.

How Is Mediation Different?

Traditionally, divorces and other legal disputes could be resolved only by going through trial and having a judge or jury decide the outcome. most disputes today are decided by the parties themselves, through negotiating an out-of-court settlement.

Negotiation tends to be quicker, less expensive and more private than going through trial. That doesn't mean it's easy.

Sometimes the two sides can't see eye to eye, or just want to get as much out of the other side as they possibly can, out of spite.

Mediation seeks to break down the adversarial nature of so many disputes. It emphasizes collaboration and reaching agreement, rather than simply winning an argument. This tends to reduce the resentment and hurt feelings between the parties. For that and other reasons, mediation is a particularly good choice in cases involving children.

How Does It Work?

Mediation is a form of negotiation guided by a neutral third party. Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, a mediator does not decide the case or issue a ruling. Rather, the mediator facilitates the discussion, helping the two sides to stay focused on reaching agreement.

Each side is represented by independent attorneys, who can offer advice and speak on a client's behalf. However, the power to make decisions rests with the clients.

Learn More

You can learn more about collaborative approaches to family law disputes on my collaborative law page. My website also has pages devoted to general information about divorce, child custody and child support.

If you are going through a divorce or another dispute in family law, and you think that mediation and collaborative law might be good for your case, speak to a skilled lawyer about your options. Call my office at 412-449-9820. You can also reach me by email.