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It is best to know which divorce process best fits your circumstances, whether that be mediated, collaborative, or litigated divorce, so that this difficult time is not drawn out. Continue reading to learn which would be most productive for you, and how a York County, PA divorce attorney can guide you every step of the way.

Is mediation my best option?

Mediation is a process that involves a neutral third party, i.e. a mediator, who will assist the spouses in finding a solution that works for both of their best interests. The following are some benefits of the mediation route:

  • It is shorter than a collaborative or litigated divorce as they are not at the mercy of the court.
  • It is less expensive than a collaborative or litigated divorce as they are not at the mercy of attorneys.
  • Spouses have control over making their own decisions rather than the court.
  • The information discussed during the process is kept confidential, as opposed to litigation being on public record in Pennsylvania.
  • It is voluntary and can stop at any time.

Although mediation appears to be the ideal option, it is likely only productive if the spouses are still amicable with each other. Also, if the spouses disagree on significant issues, such as child custody, property division, or alimony, this informal setting might not resolve them.

Under what circumstances should I choose a collaborative or litigated divorce?

If the spouses are still amicable but want the process to occur in a more formal setting, collaborative divorce is the better option. This way, there is the presence of an attorney for each spouse that will aid in negotiating the terms of the divorce.

If the spouses cannot agree on how to resolve particular issues, they will need to opt for a litigated divorce, in which a judge decides on every condition of the settlement. This process, the most common of the three, begins when one party files a complaint with the court, after which the court system sets a schedule for the proceedings.

Notably, at the beginning of a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their respective attorneys sign an agreement that keeps the proceedings confidential and out of litigation. So, if the spouses are unable to reach a settlement independently and need to opt for litigation, they will have to start the process all over again and also find new attorneys to represent them.

If you have further questions on which path is best for you, contact one of the skilled York County, PA family law attorneys today.


We understand that going through the legal system alone can be both confusing and highly stressful. That is why it is our job to help you through every step of the process ahead. For years, we have been helping clients throughout Lancaster County and its surrounding areas through a wide range of legal matters, including personal injury cases, criminal defense matters, family law issues, estate planning law matters, and more. If you need legal assistance, we are here to help. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.