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Mediation Attorney in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Whether it’s a divorce or legal separation, or child custody arrangement, going through a marital dissolution or child custody dispute tends to be an emotional experience for most people. It comes with major impacts on your family, assets, children, future relationships, and finances. Thankfully, mediation provides a great opportunity for divorcing or separating couples to meet together and try to resolve marital issues and family law matters amicably.

If you’re considering mediation and want to understand how it works, consulting with an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney is imperative. At the Law Office of MariAnn Hathaway, we’re dedicated to offering knowledgeable guidance and advocacy to clients in family law and mediation-related matters. Our seasoned lawyer is available to discuss your unique circumstances, help you prepare for mediation, and offer you some insightful tips for a successful mediation.

The Law Office of MariAnn Hathaway proudly serves clients in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding communities throughout Washington County.

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What Is Mediation?  

Mediation can be described as an alternative dispute resolution method that allows two or more parties involved in a dispute or disagreement to meet, identify and settle pending issues, and hopefully achieve a settlement agreement. 

Through divorce mediation, divorcing couples are able to meet together – with the guidance of a neutral third party – to discuss and settle divorce issues and relationship differences and eventually reach a feasible divorce agreement. In child custody matters, the parties meet to discuss the custodial arrangement which best suits their children's needs.

What Are the Benefits of Mediation?  

Here are some benefits of mediation for divorcing couples: 

  • Mediation is faster and less expensive than divorce trials. 

  • Mediation allows you to settle divorce-related issues amicably while keeping your affairs private. 

  • Mediation helps enhance communication between you and your estranged spouse. 

  • Mediation helps keep the interactions between you and your estranged partner positive. 

  • Mediation helps prevent or mitigate potential grudges and conflicts. 

  • Mediation allows the divorcing parties to maintain total control over the process and the outcome. 

A trusted lawyer can walk you through the mediation process and make sure all agreed-upon terms are properly documented and enforceable. 

What to Do to Prepare for Mediation  

If you are considering divorce mediation – or want to resolve a family law matter through mediation – here are some tips to help you prepare properly: 

  • Think about the most important facts in the dispute. 

  • Gather all necessary records and relevant information that can help in settling the dispute. 

  • Attend mediation with an open and approachable mindset. 

  • Be flexible and ready to consider other people’s propositions. 

  • Be open to the other party’s perspectives. 

  • Be ready to consider possible resolutions which may be proposed. 

  • Consider the after-effect of not reaching a feasible resolution for your loved ones. 

A highly-skilled Pennsylvania mediation attorney can help you prepare diligently for mediation and offer you some useful tips for a successful mediation. 

What to Expect at Mediation  

Mediation isn’t one-size-fits-all, and the process might change sometimes. Nonetheless, here is what to expect at mediation: 

  • The disputing parties will first meet together with the mediation attorney or mediator. 

  • The mediation attorney will explain the process and allow the participants to introduce themselves. 

  • The mediation lawyer will encourage the participants to remain civil and professional. 

  • The mediator will encourage the participants not to interrupt anyone speaking. 

  • A private session will be organized for each participant in a separate room to discuss privately with the mediator. 

  • The mediation lawyer will allow each party to explain the dispute from their viewpoint and clarity their position. 

  • The mediator will ask the parties to propose a fair and reasonable divorce settlement offer or counteroffer while taking the other party’s position into consideration. 

Mediation can take an entire day or sometimes longer. If the disputing or divorcing parties are able to reach a resolution, the mediator will carefully document all agreed-upon terms in the divorce agreement. This will be presented to the court to be officially approved. However, to ensure a successful mediation, you need to prepare properly and be open to other people’s suggestions. 

Tips for a Successful Mediation  

Here are some insightful tips to ensure a successful mediation: 

  • Understand your personal interests and focus on them. 

  • The aim of mediation isn’t proving you’re right. Remain open to other people’s resolution offers. 

  • Present all relevant information and records that can help in settling the dispute. 

  • Be ready to compromise in order to achieve a feasible resolution. 

  • Respect all participants and focus on reconciling interests and settling issues peacefully. 

  • Understand the benefits of any potential resolution to all parties involved. 

The mediation process can be frustrating and daunting. Nonetheless, you should focus on the benefits and be willing to see it through. 

Are Mediation Agreements Enforceable?  

Yes, mediation agreements are enforceable. However, all terms agreed upon by the divorcing parties or separating parents during mediation must be carefully written and accurately documented. Also, the divorcing couple and/or separating parents will sign the mediated agreement to indicate their approval of the terms of the mediation settlement. Later, they enter into Marriage Settlement agreement or Custody Consent Order based upon the terms they agreed upon in mediation. Once the Marriage Settlement Agreement or Custody Consent Order is signed by both parties and filed with the Prothonotary, they will remain binding and legally enforceable. 

Work With a Practiced Family Law Attorney 

Mediation allows divorcing couples and separated parents to handle their divorce and custody settlement process fairly and peacefully. However, understanding the legal processes involved and what to expect is crucial for a successful mediation. Therefore, when considering mediation in your divorce or other family law matter, consulting with a practiced family law attorney is crucial for detailed guidance and to help you make intelligent decisions. 

For over 30 years, we have been offering experienced legal services and guiding individuals and families through the complex process of divorce and mediation. Our trusted attorney can enlighten you about the benefits of mediation, walk you through the legal procedures involved in divorce mediation, and improve your chances of a successful outcome. Above all, we can help facilitate the discussion and keep the conversation productive and on track. 

Mediation Attorney Serving Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

If you’re considering filing for divorce and want to reach a settlement through mediation, contact the Law Office of MariAnn Hathaway today for an initial consultation. Our dedicated attorney can offer you the reliable advocacy and personalized legal counsel you need to make informed decisions. We proudly serve clients in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and throughout Washington County.