What is collaborative family law?

| May 26, 2021 | Collaborative Law |

If you are getting divorced, you could be bracing for what you expect will be a contentious courtroom battle.

However, most people can avoid this scenario by taking a collaborative approach to resolving divorce and other family legal matters. The collaborative process affords people the strategies and opportunities to make a difficult legal process easier.

How does collaborative law work?

The collaborative process in Pennsylvania involves parties working together to reach agreements. Everyone involved – including divorcing spouses and their respective attorneys – commits to collaboration. If they cannot reach an agreement, parties must retain new legal counsel and go to court, thus incentivizing cooperation.

Throughout multiple sessions, parties work with professionals to make informed decisions on property division, child custody and other divorce-related issues. These parties typically include: 

  • Trained attorneys
  • Parenting coaches
  • Financial planners
  • Tax professionals
  • Counselors

With collaborative law, participants are not trying to “win” in court; they are trying to reach agreements. Therefore, it is typically more peaceful and less traumatic than litigation.

What are the benefits of a collaborative manner?

The primary benefit of a collaborative approach to family law is that it gives participants control over the outcome. Parties who litigate these issues are at the mercy of the judge’s decisions and court requirements.

When you opt for collaboration, you reach decisions together, giving you more flexibility. You also decide when and where to meet and who you will call on if you need more guidance regarding custody and financial matters.

Other benefits of collaboration include being faster and less costly than traditional litigation.

Further, the process motivates parties to be amicable and cooperative, which can have immense benefits in both the short and long term. This civil, respectful approach can be especially important if you have children you wish to shield from unnecessary conflict.

If you want to avoid the expensive, messy process of resolving sensitive family issues in court, a collaborative approach could be a good fit for your situation.