4 benefits to mediating your Pennsylvania divorce

Mediating a divorce in Pennsylvania can save a couple time, money and stress.

A study published in Mediation Quarterly compared the satisfaction of people who handled their divorce in mediation compared to those who went through the traditional process. Researchers found that only 47 percent of those who engaged in the typical litigation were "somewhat" to "very" satisfied, compared to 69 percent of those who chose to mediate.

People in Pennsylvania have the option to pursue alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation when ending their marriage. Here are four reasons that many have found the process to be beneficial:

1. Better for children

For couples who have children, mediating a divorce may be the better option because it can be less tense than a litigated separation. As the American Bar Association points out, couples who mediate have to work together to find an amicable solution, which paints a better picture than parents who are at odds with each other. The ABA also states that mediation can make for more joint custody situations, which enables children to have relationships with both parents.

2. Saving money

An important factor to consider when divorcing is what the process is going to cost. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania points out that the filing fees alone can be in the hundreds of dollars, not to mention attorney fees and the cost of dividing marital assets.

Mediation can save a couple money, mostly because it can reduce the amount of money sent to attorneys and court systems as well as cut down on how much time is spent making decisions. The ABA estimates that mediation will be between 40 percent and 60 percent less expensive than going through litigation.

3. A confidential matter

Another benefit to mediating a divorce is that anything that happens during the process remains confidential. When a couple goes to court, everything that is said is transcribed and placed into public record. As The Huffington Post points out, mediation enables a couple to discuss their issues in private as opposed to doing it in a courtroom in front of their children or strangers.

4. Giving couples more control

Lastly, a couple that mediates divorce tends to have more control over the outcome. In court, a judge will typically decide matters involving child custody, support payments and property division. Through mediation, however, the couple chooses the topics that need to be discussed.

While the benefits to mediating a divorce are many, the process may not be right for everyone. It is important for people in Pennsylvania to determine what option is best for them. No matter what path a couple takes, it is important to have the advice of a professional. Anyone with questions about this matter should consult with an attorney.