Steps in a mediation divorce—Pennsylvania

A typical divorce mediation case has three steps:

  1. Spouses and their mediator meet to discuss terms of divorce.
  2. Legal documents are drafted, reviewed, and signed.
  3. A divorce decree is requested when both spouses are ready.

    NOTE: In Pennsylvania, this third step is done by mail. Spouses are not required to set foot in court.
Dann Johns, Divorce Mediator and Attorney Dann Johns
Divorce Mediator & Attorney

  • Practice limited to mediation divorce since 2012
  • Attorney & Counsellor at Law admitted to Pennsylvania Bar in 1988
  • Active attorney license PA52681
  • Member of Pennsylvania Council of Mediators
  • Committed to peaceful resolution of all divorce issues

Husbands and wives may move through these three steps quite quickly, or as slowly as they wish. In divorce mediation, spouses choose the pace that is best for themselves and their family.

Learn more about how much time a mediation divorce takes.

STEP 1—divorce mediation sessions

A divorce mediation session is spouses meeting with their mediator to discuss divorce terms. Sometimes more than one mediation session is needed.

During this first step in a mediation divorce:

  • The divorce mediator makes sure wives and husbands discuss all important topics.
  • Spouses may ask questions—of each other and their mediator—to get the information they need.
  • Spouses decide divorce terms together.

Mediation sessions may take place in-person or online.

Online Hours

  • Weekdays 9a-9p
  • Saturdays 9a-6p
Divorce mediation room in York PA Divorce mediation room
52 S Duke St,
York PA 17401




Practice limited to
mediation divorce

Divorce mediation room in Lancaster PA Divorce mediation room
222 E Orange St,
Lancaster PA 17602




Practice limited to
mediation divorce

Spouses may feel anxious before and during a mediation session, but their divorce mediator will help them:

  • communicate with each other about divorce terms,
  • consider common solutions to issues,
  • focus on problem solving.

Learn more about Dann Johns, Divorce Mediator & Attorney.

STEP 2—legal documents

Most divorce mediation cases (about 85% in my office) involve signing one or more legal documents before the divorce can be finalized. Documents are drafted by me in the second step of a mediation divorce—after all important divorce terms have been discussed and decided.

Here is a list of divorce documents that may be drafted (your case may not required every document):

  • Postnuptial AgreementLegally binding contract about any alimony, spousal support, distribution of marital property, distribution of IRA in divorce, payment of marital debts, and other divorce terms.
  • Child Support AgreementLegally binding contract about each child's financial support, health insurance, healthcare costs, childcare costs, child related expenses, child tax credits, etc.
Divorce Mediator Dann Johns Dann Johns
Divorce Mediator & Attorney

❝An entire divorce mediation case that includes discussing and deciding terms, signing Pennsylvania legal documents, and getting a mutual consent Pennsylvania decree can be completed in my office.❞

NOTE: Written agreements about child support and child custody are not required to finalize a Pennsylvania divorce.

  • Child Custody AgreementLegally binding contract about the parenting schedule (physical custody), decision making (legal custody), and relocation limitations for each child.
  • DeedDocument transferring ownership of a residence or other real property to one spouse.
  • QDROCourt order distributing a pension, or distributing a retirement plan (401k, 403b, etc.) without tax penalty.
  • Notice of intention to resume prior surname—Election to resume use of any prior name (maiden name, birth name, prior married name).
  • Order merging support agreement or custody agreement—Agreed court order for child support or child custody.

After I draft documents, both spouses can take whatever time they need to review those documents before signing.

Does each spouse need their own lawyer for divorce mediation?

STEP 3—Divorce decree by mutual consent

A divorce decree is a court order that changes the marital status of divorcing spouses. Getting a decree of divorce—when both spouses are ready—is the third step in a typical divorce mediation case.

Husbands and wives who reach an out-of-court agreement can get a Pennsylvania divorce decree without setting foot in court. This final step is handled by mail.

How much time to get a Pennsylvania divorce decree?

With my help, spouses may request a decree from any county court in Pennsylvania. Spouses may choose:

  • a distant Pennsylvania county, for privacy or reduced cost;
  • their home county, especially if they need to file their postnuptial agreement (this is not necessary in every case).

I help spouses understand these options during a free consultation about divorce mediation.

Divorce mediation for you & your spouse

Consider sharing this website with your spouse. If both of you are interested in a mediation divorce, the next step is to schedule a free consultation with Dann Johns, Divorce Mediator & Attorney.

To learn more about peaceful divorce, check out the articles about divorce mediation in Pennsylvania.

Wishing you and your family much peace and well-being!

  • First published
  • Content updated 2020-07-06
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