Couples who are splitting up in Pennsylvania have a couple of options for going through the divorce process. They can go through the court with lengthy and costly litigation, or they can choose mediation. Divorce mediation can be a good choice for certain couples because it is typically less expensive and less stressful than court proceedings. The following outlines some tips for those who are considering the mediation process.

According to Money Crashers, the purpose of mediation is for divorcing couples to come to an agreement by using a neutral third party known as a mediator. Because not all mediators have the same qualifications or training, couples should do some research before they choose one. Couples should ask mediators about their:

  • Educational background in law or mental health
  • Number of training hours
  • Experience with divorce mediation
  • Familiarity with American Bar Association standards

Once a couple makes a decision about a mediator, he or she will typically schedule a series of sessions that last one to two hours long. Couples should prepare for each session by bringing related documents and information. This saves on time and helps each spouse understand what decisions they need to make.

Although couples do not have to get along perfectly, they should be able to communicate openly and fairly, or else mediation may not work. Family Education outlines other times in which mediation may not be the right choice. If one partner is not aware of all assets and debts, it is often better to go through the court system, where a judge can order the reveal of assets. Mediation is also not good for couples in which one partner is a bully or violent. Also, if, while going through the mediation process, one spouse feels the mediator is not being neutral, they should find a different mediator.