In the context of child support, mediation is a process in which parents meet outside of court to resolve their issues with the help of a neutral third party, known as a mediator. Throughout this process, parents have the opportunity to cooperate and tailor a payment plan that minimizes the financial suffering a child may experience due to a split. Most parents know that they have a financial obligation to support their children. However, the amount of child support awarded to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent is often the premise of contention in court.
Although mediation is an ideal option for many parents, it isn't for everyone. If you and your ex have a hard time communicating effectively, or there's still lots of animosity in the relationship, litigation may be the best alternative for you. If you're on the fence about which method of resolution you should choose, we'll outline the advantages and disadvantages of mediation.
There are some perks of mediation that you should account for before deciding how to determine child support.
Mediation is a non-adversarial process
Mediation is intended to be a collaborative process. Therefore, you and your partner will both get the chance to have your voices heard and make a joint decision on what arrangement best reflects the best interest of your child.
Mediation is confidential
In most cases, mediators and other parties are not allowed to discuss the topics raised in a mediation session with outside people. This is a stark contrast from a typical court proceeding, which is usually available for the public.
Mediation is less costly than litigation
Since mediation is a shorter process with little to no judicial involvement, it costs way less than bringing a child support case before a Pennsylvania family court.
Just as there are advantages to mediation, there are disadvantages that lead people to use other avenues of resolution, such as litigation. Here are some common disadvantages parents consider when deciding how to resolve child support issues:
It can be difficult to ensure a settlement is fair
Fairness is one of the reasons people pick litigation over mediation. If one parent has access to more resources or is more savvy of the mediation process, they may be able to get the other parent to agree to a settlement that slights them.
You may not reach an agreement
It's common for mediation to end without both parties successfully reaching an agreement. There's nothing more exhausting than spending valuable time, money, and effort trying to get through mediation, only to find out later that finding common ground is nearly impossible and you'll have to go to court anyway.
Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney
Whether you feel mediation is an ideal option for your child support case or litigation is the best method of resolution, you need an experienced family law attorney. If you would like to learn more about mediation, the legal process, or need representation, schedule a consultation with Pennsylvania family law attorney Joseph D. Lento today. You can contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686.