People typically do not think of divorce as a cooperative process. They imagine courtroom battles and spouses fighting against each other.
However, most divorces involve less combative dispute resolution methods. One such option is a collaborative divorce.
What a collaborative divorce looks like
Collaborative divorce requires active participation and negotiation from divorcing spouses. Rather than going to court, they work together and with the help of attorneys to negotiate divorce matters. It is more formal than mediation and typically less combative than litigation.
Collaborative divorces in Pennsylvania follow the standards set by the Pennsylvania Collaborative Law Act.
Under this statute, a collaborative approach to dispute resolution involves a few essential components:
- Signing a collaborative participation agreement establishing parties’ commitment to resolving matters through collaboration versus litigation
- Legal representation for both parties
- Disqualification of legal counsel from representing parties if the matter goes to court
These components motivate parties to resolve family legal matters through collaboration. Parties may consult outside professionals regarding custody or financial issues, but everyone involved commits to working as a team.
If collaboration is unsuccessful, each person secures new legal representation, and the case will go to court.
Is a collaborative divorce right for you?
Determining whether this is the best strategy for your divorce depends on the details of your case.
In general, it can work for people who want to avoid court but need more structure than mediation can provide. It can also be a good option for parties who prioritize privacy, peaceful solutions and co-parenting.
However, every case is different, and collaborative divorce may not be a good fit for you. You can discuss your specific goals and legal options with an attorney at The Quinn Law Firm by calling 814-833-2222.