When they decide to separate, many couples have hopes and plenty of fears. They want to avoid the long, nasty, legal mess that might happen in divorce court, but court-approved divorces are the way to make things final and enforceable.

This is where collaborative divorces shine. In 2018, Pennsylvania officially recognized collaborative divorce as the law of the commonwealth. It offers a chance for a quick, fair, final and legal divorce process so couples can move on to the next phase of their lives.

A good option gets written into the law

For many years, Pennsylvania couples used collaborative divorce. They typically had help of attorneys with extensive experience in the method and Pennsylvania, even then, legally recognized those divorces.

But the 2018 Arbitration and Collaborative Law Act made it a standard method and set the rules so, for example, a Pennsylvania divorce would function well in other states.

Many couples find advantages in collaboration

Your results may vary, but couples remark on some or all these frequently advantages over traditional divorce:

  • The process is typically faster and less expensive.
  • The process is private, unlike the public court system.
  • Couples can decide on a wider range of issues.
  • Collaboration happens in a comfortable atmosphere.
  • Couples keep a friendlier relationship.
  • Children and couples are less stressed.

Legally committing to a productive process

From the start, both members of the couple sign an agreement with each other and with their attorneys. It legally commits them to work out all the details to the very last.

The success rate of collaborative divorce is high. But if it turns out the couple cannot agree, the attorneys must quit, and the couple is free to try traditional courtroom divorce or another process with new attorneys.

The process involves guiding the couple through each issue and its stakes, helping them focus productively on the core matters at hand.

Most couples appreciate the communication, joint decision making, a surprising lack of stress and the skills they learn along the way.