Custody & Divorce Mediation

Transitions Matter

Custody and divorce often get messy. Research shows that the way we make these life-changing transitions has the most impact on partners and children. Advoz is a community organization founded to help you talk through such challenging issues with the best possible outcome for all—including children—leading to a court-filed agreement that you help to create with supportive, trained mediators.

If you want to work through this difficult time with more control, lower cost and improved working relationships than when you fully resort to the court system, contact us at (717) 397-2404 or click here. Want options? Just google “custody or divorce mediation” to find other local mediators.

Child with Parents

What is Custody & Divorce Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which impartial mediators sit down with everyone involved, discuss the issues and help you determine a mutually acceptable agreement. In custody and divorce mediation, we request a separate preparatory meeting with each party to ensure appropriateness, safety and readiness for a joint session. Custody mediations often require just one joint session, while divorce mediations generally require 3-5 sessions.

Why mediate?

  1. Increases communication and generally reduces harm to affected relationships.
  2. You find your own solution and create your own agreement, not a judge.
  3. Typically, much less expensive than resorting to a court process.
  4. Faster than a court proceeding.
  5. Check out six more reasons here!

How does it work?

  1. Start by contacting Advoz at (717) 397-2404 or click here for a free initial consultation.
    • Advoz staff call each party and assigns two mediators to your case.
  2. A one-hour pre-mediation meeting is scheduled with each of you to meet the mediators, discuss the situation, clarify your hopes and prepare for a joint session.
  3. A two-hour joint mediation session is scheduled to gain clarity on issues and work toward an agreement. Stages of this process include an agreement on ground rules, opportunity to share without interruption, focus on issues and concerns and agreement-writing. Party’s lawyers may be present, if all parties agree, but attorneys are not necessary for a successful mediation.
  4. Agreements are written down in the mediation session and shared with all parties to be filed by attorneys.
    • One joint session may be sufficient for a custody agreement; multiple sessions are often required for a divorce mediation process which includes a checklist and drafted memorandum of understanding submitted to the court.

Does this replace an attorney? Or counseling?

We recommend that each party to a mediation retains an attorney if you are going through a divorce proceeding. However, while attorneys can be helpful to advise on an agreement, they are not needed for a productive divorce or custody mediation session. We can provide a list of local family law attorneys who understand and work with a mediation process.

Mediation is not counseling. You will have a balance of time to talk, to listen and to work on issues, so it can help to (re)build trust in a relationship. But unlike counseling, where you might look at past patterns and layers of a relationship, you are in mediation primarily to work out an agreement. Mediators help you do that by focusing on a fair, inclusive and collaborative process leading to the agreement.

What’s Next?

Learn more about mediation and its benefits. Each step of mediation is voluntary, guided by professionally trained neutral mediators attending to your specific needs. Fees for mediation vary based on the number of sessions required but are generally 1/5 to 1/10 the cost of using attorneys only. Financial assistance may also be available, so contact us to start the process!

Click here to request services or call us at (717) 397-2404 between 9 am – 4 pm, Monday-Friday.

Advoz does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or age. Advoz does not retaliate against persons who file a complaint about discrimination or participate in a discrimination proceeding.