When you are go through a divorce or separation, the last thing you want to do is dealing with the court system. Our certified mediators can help you with family law mediation so you can work together to avoid the time, expense, and hassle of court.
Divorce is not one-size-fits-all solution to ending a marriage. Pennsylvania laws afford you the opportunity to explore the option best suited to your needs and familial situation. This may include exploring the use of mediation during the separation or divorce process
What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process which allows litigants in a family law matter to avoid the substantial costs and risks involved in litigation by resolving contested issues outside of court.
Who should mediate?
Any family law litigant who has an issue which they have, through their own efforts and/or the efforts of their respective attorneys, been unable to resolve but who do not wish to “roll the dice” in a courtroom, should consider mediation to resolve the issue. This is regardless of whether the issue is child support, child custody, divorce, alimony and/or the division of the marital property.
Mediation essentially eliminates the risks of going to court where the decision is taken out of the hands of the parties and put into the hands of a third person who has little or no prior information regarding the situation.
In other words, rather than having a judge or other court officer make a major decision for you, the mediation process allows you to make your own decisions on some of the most important issues in your life including, but not limited to, the custody of your children, support, the division of your property and divorce.
Also, mediation allows you to move more rapidly through the process by allowing you to set the mediation schedule as opposed to having to wait weeks and sometimes months for an opening with the court.
Among the positives associated with mediation, it:
- is private;
- is a non-litigious process;
- can help both parities save time and money; and
- empowers parties to make their own decisions.
How does family law mediation work?
The first step in family law mediation is making sure that both parties are open to it. If one party does not want to mediate the case, it will be very difficult to reach a resolution.
If you know that both parties are interested in mediating, you can reach out to us to schedule a mediation session by contacting our Mediation Coordinator, Sandra at 610-638-2221.
We would walk you through the whole process to make sure you reach a quick, reasonable, and satisfying resolution.
What does a family law mediator do?
The mediator does not represent either party nor does he or she give legal advice. Rather, the mediator uses years of family law experience and problem-solving skills to help the parties work towards a resolution of their issue. The family law mediator works toward a solution with which both parties are satisfied and that both parties have had substantial input and have had their voices heard.
How long does mediation take?
The answer to this question is really up to the parties. The initial mediation session is a one hour intake meeting which can be followed up with as many additional mediation sessions as necessary in order to “whittle down” and ultimately resolve the issues at hand. Most mediation sessions following the first one are 2 to 3 hours in length but can be longer or shorter depending on the circumstances.
How much does mediation cost?
The mediator gets paid on an hourly basis at a rate of $300 per hour with each party bearing one half of the cost unless otherwise agreed. The overall cost, of course, depends on the length and number of mediation sessions.
However, in the long run, mediation is far less expensive than litigation where both parties are paying a higher rate for their attorneys, the process often takes far longer and the outcome is, at best, uncertain.
Where would the mediation occur?
At our mediation services we are pleased to offer our clients their choice of three convenient locations in either our Palmerton Law Office, Bethlehem Law Office and/or Stroudsburg Law Office.
Who is the mediator?
Currently, all family law mediation sessions at ARM Mediation Services are conducted by Attorney Nicholas J. Masington III.
Attorney Masington has been practicing law in Northeast Pennsylvania for more than 30 years and, during that time, has focused his practice almost exclusively on family and matrimonial law.
In the course of his practice, he has handled literally thousands of divorce, custody, child support and alimony cases in more than 15 counties throughout Northeast Pennsylvania and, throughout that time, has maintained a settlement rate of nearly 90%.
Additionally, Attorney Masington has taught several seminars on family law topics, has served as a specially appointed master for divorce cases in Monroe County and, most recently, has become one of the only certified mediators in the area by completing his mediation training through good Shepherd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Over the years he has garnered a no-nonsense reputation with masters and judges throughout the area and prides himself on being able to identify and resolve the issues at hand as quickly and expediently as possible thus resulting in less stress, time, money and aggravation for the litigants.
How Do I Sign Up For Mediation?
In order to schedule a mediation session for find out more information regarding our services and/or the mediation process, please contact our Mediation Coordinator, Sandra at 610-638-2221.