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Divorce mediation an alternative to traditional litigation

The process of dissolving a marriage is challenging, even in the most amicable of situations. Fortunately, not every divorce has to be handled through traditional litigation. In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, divorce mediation is an increasingly popular method for handling these types of legal proceedings.

Within family law, mediation was not a commonly used alternative dispute resolution 25 years ago. However, the demand for it has grown considerably in the past few years. This alternative to litigation can be especially helpful for resolving disputes involving finances as well as child custody.

A major reason that divorce mediation has become so in demand is that it is less expensive than going to trial. It is also less time consuming and less stressful for all parties involved. Using a mediator is particularly beneficial for families with children since it promotes communication and negotiation skills, which is helpful for divorcing parents to have as they prepare for the years of co-parenting ahead of them.

Research shows that the less adversarial a marital split-up is, the better the children will fare following it. An adversarial proceeding has been shown to cause a child to be prone to the abuse of alcohol and drugs as well as physical and mental illness. Suicide and criminal behavior can sometimes result if the child's emotional issues are ignored. A Pennsylvania family law lawyer can help with making the dissolution of a marriage as easy as possible through divorce mediation while ensuring that one's rights and the best interests of any children involved are protected.  

Source:, "The many costs of divorce", Linda Bryant, March 3, 2017

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