If both parties want to avoid the courtroom and are willing to maintain open communication, collaborative law is a way to work through the details of a divorce in a fair, amicable, quick and cost-effective manner.
Is collaborative divorce right for me?
A collaborative divorce is a mutually respectful process between both parties and both attorneys. Meetings are four ways, or five if a coach is used, and can often have a positive impact on the family as a whole. Neither the size of the estate nor the level of conflict between the parties are barriers to using a collaborative law approach. Complex estates and high net worth families frequently opt for a collaborative divorce due to the privacy of the action.
Our Pittsburgh collaborative law attorneys have been trained to diffuse conflict and create a respectful and communicative environment for all parties in the divorce. We have the ability to honor the needs of both parties and their children while fully representing our client’s position. Collaborative divorces can often be more open to creative solutions that benefit both of the divorcing parties and any children involved.
How is collaborative divorce different than divorce litigation?
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse are each represented by an attorney who will guide you through the elements of the divorce process — including custody, support and the division of property. Frequently the parties also engage the assistance of specialized experts who are jointly retained by the parties to provide them with information they deem essential in helping make the decisions affecting their particular issues, such as: tax accountants, financial planners, parenting coaches and counselors.
The goal of the collaborative process is to reach an overall settlement which is then embodied in an agreement and signed before either party files for divorce. This agreement becomes the marriage settlement agreement that is the final enforceable contract. If a comprehensive settlement cannot be reached, sometimes it is possible to settle just one aspect of the case, such as support or custody.
Why do people choose a collaborative divorce?
A collaborative divorce can be faster and less expensive than a courtroom divorce, and it is completely private except for the filing of the divorce complaint and decree. The process can happen as quickly as four months. Both parties attend a series of meetings to reach an agreement about the economic issues before any paperwork is filed. The parties alternate which law firm’s offices they meet in so that each attorney works to create an atmosphere in which both parties can feel relaxed and comfortable.
Every aspect of a collaborative divorce is focused on your family’s well-being, fairness, respect and creating a strong future. In a collaborative divorce, parties are able to arrive at a mutually acceptable settlement without letting the courts decide the issues. Perhaps one of the most important reasons people choose collaborative divorce instead of traditional divorce litigation is because of the sense of respect and open communication it fosters, which makes for a healthier family after the divorce.
For more information, contact our office or review the profiles of collaborative attorneys Candice L. Komar, Stephanie L. Jablon (also trained mediators), Ashley M. Majorsky, Lindsay A. Nemit, Brian C. Vertz (also a trained arbitrator) and Joseph R. Williams,