In the mediation process, the parties jointly hire a mediator to assist them in reaching a memorandum of understanding. The mediator cannot provide legal advice and must remain neutral through the process. Typically, in private family law mediation, the mediator will suggest that the parties take the memorandum of understanding to their respective family law attorneys for review and approval. The attorneys then draft a settlement agreement. In some cases, the mediator may permit the attorneys to be present during the mediation.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
There are certain benefits to mediation which include, among other things, the following:
- A mediator can help the parties overcome what appears to be a roadblock to settlement.
- A mediator can help the parties communicate better which can aid reaching settlement.
- Mediation can be less expensive than litigation since presumably the parties are going to their respective attorneys with a memorandum of understanding in hand.
Risks of Divorce Mediation
There are also certain risks to mediation which include, among other things, the following:
- You may agree to something that your attorney later tells you was unfair or unenforceable. It can be hard to back away from something that is already in writing even though it may not be a legally enforceable document.
- It can be more expensive since you are paying another professional, the mediator, in addition to your respective attorneys.
- As with the collaborative law process, you may say something during the mediation that your attorney may later tell you he or she wished you did not reveal.
There is much more to the mediation process than can be described in this limited space. Please feel free to contact Pittsburgh Athorney David Miller via email or by telephone to schedule an appointment to discuss this option further.