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Mediation as an Alternative to Litigation

Mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution process designed to bring people in conflict together in a face-to-face meeting to work out solutions to their differences. The meeting is facilitated by a specially trained, neutral third-party called a "mediator." The parties negotiate their own settlements. The mediator does not force them to do anything.

Advantages to Mediation
  • It is conveniently located
  • It is informal, inexpensive, and you don't need a lawyer
  • It offers flexible scheduling, including evenings and Saturdays
  • If you don't reach an agreement, you can still bring your case to court
  • It is confidential; there is no public record
  • Parties are generally more satisfied with settlements they negotiate personally, as opposed to those that are ordered by someone not involved.

Kinds of Cases Settled Through Mediation
  • Neighborhood Disputes: noise, pets, property lines, harassment, common driveways, nuisances, minor assaults
  • Family Disputes: parent-child, divorce, separation, child custody, intergenerational, adult guardianship
  • School-Based Mediations: peer mediation, student-teacher, parent-teacher involving such issues as: truancy, fighting, miscommunication and fair play
  • Disputes: landlord-tenant, friends and acquaintances, girlfriend-boyfriend, housemates, roommates
  • Small Claims Disputes: monetary disputes, consumer-repairperson, consumer-mechanic, consumer-merchant
  • Employment Disputes: co-workers, supervisor-employee, employer-employee involving such issues as: discrimination, salary, promotions, accommodations for employees who are disabled, and disparate treatment


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If spouses cannot fairly divide the marital property, the court will divide it as fairly as possible. Marital fault is not a consideration in property division. In Pennsylvania, property acquired during the marriage is jointly owned regardless of title. The court considers the duration of the marriage, individual assets and potential for bringing in money, how much each contributed to the marital property, including homemaking, and who will have physical custody of the children.
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