Property Division Through Divorce MediationApril 1, 2021
Facing divorce can be emotional and can leave you debating you next move. Whether you have been with your spouse for several years or only a few, you have most likely purchased property together and worked toward establishing a life as a married couple, a family.
Untangling all those details can not only be scary but also difficult to navigate. Understanding your rights and where to begin in the divorce process is important. Your divorce does not have to be fought out in court if you and your spouse can come to an agreement on the terms.
If you are both committed to staying out of court and working toward an amicable resolution of all aspects of your divorce, mediation is a process you should consider.
What is Mediation?
A mediation takes place when both parties in the divorce agree to work toward settling all details amicably. In this scenario, all decisions regarding the divorce take place with a mediator present. A mediator is an unbiased third party who assists in negotiations, using mediation techniques, between you and your spouse to reach an agreement that is fair, and you both agree on.
Property Division through Mediation
The only property that is typically divided in Pennsylvania, is the marital property. Marital property is all property that was earned or obtained from the date of the marriage through the date of separation.
Property does not include only real estate, but also includes any other tangible and intangible assets, such as cars, jewelry, investments, pensions, and retirement benefits. Debt is also considered marital to the extent it was incurred during the marriage.
Property that was acquired before the marriage is referred to as non-marital property and is usually not included in the division of property, except to the extent it appreciated in value during the marriage. Property acquired after the date of separation is generally nonmarital and not subject to equitable distribution.
Benefits of Mediation Over Litigation
There are many benefits to resolving property division through mediation versus allowing the court to decide through litigation. Some of the biggest benefits of mediation over litigation are:
- Lower financial costs
- Less time needed to reach a resolution
- Opportunity to discuss everyone’s wishes in a private, more informal environment.
Mediation typically results in a quicker resolution, taking weeks versus months or possibly years through the court system. Mediation sessions are typically scheduled weekly and are much more relaxed allowing for open lines of communication between both spouses. This structure allows for the ability to answer questions and work through potential issues. It also offers each party input on how they wish to split the marital property versus the court making those decisions, leaving at least one spouse – and possibly both – unsatisfied and discouraged.
If you and your spouse share children, another benefit to Mediation is the reduced impact and exposure for them. Custody battles can expose the children to additional emotional anguish if it becomes necessary for them to appear in court. Resolving custody issues and details during the mediation will help to limit the emotional toll divorce can have on your children and will allow for custody solutions that will take the needs of both parents into consideration and assure that the best interests of the children are met.
Have questions about whether pursuing mediation is the best option for your situation? Contact the experienced Divorce Attorneys at Daley Zucker today!