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Use mediation to reach a solid property division agreement

Couples in Pennsylvania who are ending their marriage have a long and detailed to-do list ahead of them. For parents, working through child custody matters is the top priority. A close second involves how to fairly divide the family's wealth, so that both parties can move forward with a high level of financial stability. Property division can be a challenge, however, especially when spouses are in disagreement over certain financial matters.

Mediation can offer a solution, one that takes the needs and desires of both parties into consideration and also keeps the matter out of court. In order for mediation to work, however, it is essential that both parties commit to the process, and agree that working through these issues in a collaborative manner is the best course of action. One important part of the process is establishing a strict schedule, so that issues are addressed and resolved within a tight timeline.

It is also important for spouses to create a financial separation as early in their divorce process as possible. This removes the chance of either party running up debt or making significant financial changes without the knowledge or permission of the other, and simplifies things in the long run. Whenever possible, close any joint accounts and open separate bank accounts. It is always possible to go back and reconcile differences at the end of the process, but becoming separate financial beings early on can help reduce the risk of conflict as the divorce moves forward.

Mediation is a great tool for divorcing couples, but it is an approach that requires the commitment and participation of both parties. In many cases, Pennsylvania couples can effectively work through their property division differences by way of mediation. Even better, couples can emerge from the divorce process having spent less money and sustained less emotional damage than those who choose to litigate the matter in court.

Source: The Huffington Post, Lessons Learned From Failed Divorce Mediation, Diane L. Danois, Jan. 13, 2014

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