Mediator in Pittsburgh, PA – Serving all of Western Pennsylvania (Family Law)
PGH Mediation Lawyer for Divorce, Custody & Child Support – Mediation via Video Conference
In these uncertain times with physical closures of court buildings, other offices and related service providers, more people are turning to Mediation for resolving their family law disputes.
Mediation was already known to have lower costs than litigation, but it also lends itself very well to times when in-person meetings are being replaced with virtual meetings via teleconferences.
It was already less stressful for the parties than going to court; now it can be done from the comfort of home, while social-distancing and care-giving to children whose schools are closed for the remainder of the 2020 school year.
If you want to take an active role in your matter and have it resolved on your own terms while traditional channels for dispute resolution are on pause, we are happy to lend our expertise to try and resolve your family law issues today.
What is Family Mediation?
Mediation is a process where the parties work with a neutral third-party who facilitates a mutually acceptable resolution to their issues on their terms that results in a settlement without any litigation.
Here the lawyer does not offer either party legal advice, but instead helps them arrive at an agreement with which they both agree.
The process is confidential and is chosen by people who prefer to control the outcome, rather than having a decision imposed on them by a court. Mediation is also significantly less expensive than litigation.
Who uses Divorce Mediation?
The best candidates for Family Law Mediation are those couples with a low-level of conflict and who want to try to resolve their family law issue(s) cooperatively without having to go to court.
The goal of any mediation is for the parties to reach an agreement that they both can accept. In any situation there must be compromises, but in this process, each side will actively participate in attempting to create the end result together. Both parties must be receptive to the give and take of the process and the balance of power which is split evenly among them.
Mediation is a great tool for resolving family law disputes, but will not work in all cases. First, you need to decide if it is even appropriate for your specific matter.
Family Law Mediation – Where It Works
If you and your spouse (if married) or you and the other parent of your child(ren) are civil with each other, but simply are no longer compatible, you might choose this process instead of going to court.
Mediation can be used to successfully resolve child support, child custody and division of assets in a pending divorce (or a soon to be filed divorce).
For any mediated agreement, the parties will then have the terms formalized as appropriate.
What Happens After an Agreement?
Depending on what type of matter you have addressed through your family law mediation, there are different routes to take after an agreement is reached in order to have the terms of the agreement made into an Order which will officially govern your case.
Other times, the parties reach a mediated agreement, have it reviewed by independent counsel and decide to abandon the agreement and move forward with litigation or renewed negotiations.
Child Support Mediation
For child support, the parties will initiate an action by filing a support complaint. They will then either attend the scheduled support conference where they will have the agreed upon terms entered as an order, or they can have their agreement entered as an Order following a walk-in meeting at “screening.”
For mediated Custody agreements, one party will file a custody complaint, and the parties will have the agreement incorporated into a formal Custody Consent Order. The Consent Order would be executed by the parties, presented to the assigned judge for their signature and then filed with the Department of Court Records.
Resolving Custody in this manner allows the parties to skip the generations program, conciliation(s), hearings or trial. It is much faster and far less expensive than litigated custody actions.
A mediated Divorce agreement would be turned into a Martial Settlement Agreement (MSA) or Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) by an attorney for either party who would incorporate the agreed upon terms which will govern how the assets and debts will be divided, along with a resolution of all related claims involving real property, personal property, support, taxes, etc.
How do I begin the Mediation process?
Contact us or call 412.303.9566 for a free consultation about Mediation to determine if it is even appropriate for your matter. If it is, and both parties agree to it we can move forward only after both parties sign a contract with our firm governing the terms and conditions of the process.
Then we will schedule an online meeting using one of a number of video chat options depending on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer make, operating system and connectivity availability.
We proudly serve mediation clients in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and from all over Western Pennsylvania.