Pittsburgh Mediation Group

Family Mediation

"We used mediation, so we did not go through the adversarial nightmare and did a lot that set up a structure that was going to make us both highly involved parents. There was not going to be winner-take-all."
E. Katz, NYT, July, 2011

The Process

The divorce mediation process differs from a regular divorce because the issues are decided outside of court instead of in it. In a traditional, standard divorce, as most people imagine a divorce to be, each party gets a lawyer and that lawyer goes in front of a judge. The lawyers present opposing evidence and arguments and the judge decides who gets what assets, what support and what time with the children. The traditional notion of divorce is a hostile one --- spouses pitted against each other, often not speaking except in court or through their lawyers. Mediating a settlement is simpler, less expensive & helps protect couples from the destructive effects of an adversarial divorce.

Pittsburgh Mediation Group often provides co-mediators to help couples work through decisions related to the divorce. Our mediators help our clients: (1) identify the decisions they need to make in order to navigate the divorce process; (2) consider and discuss their interests and options; (3) document their decisions. For couples with children, using mediation as an alternative helps the parent separate their spousal role, which is ending, from their parenting role, which is continuing.

The number of sessions depends on how much of the process the couple is able to do on their own.  At the end of the process, our mediators provide the couple with a written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which documents the decisions they have made.  This MOU serves as the blueprint for a Separation Agreement to be filed in court.  We work with a number of mediation-friendly attorneys who can prepare the necessary final documents, as needed. A different way of planning for the future --- and saving money.

Whatever your situation, we would be happy to talk with you to explore how we can best be of help to support your divorce process.