Why Is Mediation Preferred For Divorce?
With divorce rates as high as they have been over the past few decades, taking pressure off the courts is better than overloading the courts with every divorce. Mediation circumvents the courtroom in favor of a boardroom in which two parties work out their differences under the guidance of a third-party mediator.
Mediation is preferred for those who can come together to work out a plan without lawyers advocating for their interests and against the other party’s interests. When that happens, it is called litigation.
The one major benefit of mediation is that it avoids litigation.
Understanding the role of litigation in divorce
Litigation is withheld from most parties who are required to at least try mediation. While Pennsylvania has no such requirement, those who would pursue litigation are highly encouraged to try mediation first. And in some cases, individual counties will require individuals to attempt mediation.
However, mediation is not suitable to abuse scenarios or instances where the children are in danger. When a couple is embattled enough, there may be no common ground on which to reach a consensus.
Benefits of mediation over litigation
The biggest benefit of mediation is that it costs considerably less than litigation. Litigation can take years to fully resolve and both parties bleed money in the process. Further, anything that is decided by the court becomes a matter of public record and most importantly, all the decisions are out of your hands and now firmly placed into the hands of a judge.
So at least attempting mediation first is better (usually) than not. Since it’s preferred by both courts and litigants, it becomes the most likely way that a marriage will be dissolved.
How does litigation differ?
With a litigated divorce, each individual has their own lawyer who argues to a judge. While retaining your own lawyer is certainly possible in a mediated divorce, the goals of the lawyer and the mediator are at odds. The mediator’s job is to act in the best interests of the divorce. Your attorney’s job is to act in your best interests. Often, an individual will retain their own attorney and in some cases (such as high-conflict mediations) it is actually preferred.
Litigated divorces don’t employ an attorney who helps both sides draft a divorce decree that will be accepted by the court. Instead, they leverage the judge with legal reasoning to issue a finding on their client’s behalf.
These sorts of divorces can last a decade or more until one or both parties get sick of going before a judge. Issues with child custody or financial support often end up back in front of a judge because one or both parties don’t like how the matter played out. When both parties feel like their voices are heard, their concerns are addressed, and their interests are secured, the matter resolves much better than otherwise.
Talk to a Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Today
The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane represent the interests of Philadelphia residents who are seeking divorce representation. Call our Philadelphia family lawyers to learn more.