Working With Couples Who Can Work Together
After the dust clears in a litigated divorce, the anger and the pain of the situation often linger on. Instead of a fresh start, the bitterness over the process and the scorched-earth tactics make it difficult for the participants to move on with their lives. Many divorce battles also leave lasting scars on the children thrust in the middle.
In addition to hurtful things said and done, the spouses are stuck with a divorce decree that doesn’t meet their expectations or serve their needs.
Collaborative divorce is emerging as an alternative to the financial and emotional toll of divorce litigation. Rather than leaving important decisions to a judge, collaborative divorce gives spouses control over the outcome. Couples who have been through the collaborative law process commonly report that they are more satisfied with the outcome. Subsequently, the agreements produced in collaborative divorces tend to be followed more consistently than settlements imposed by a court.
A New Approach: Collaborative Family Law
At the law firm of Lavery Law, we encourage consideration of collaborative law. It is not right for every couple or every situation, but it can work if both parties are committed to an amicable resolution. Collaborative divorce has many advantages over litigation:
- Quicker resolution (in most cases)
- Less expense (in most cases)
- Less animosity during and less resentment afterward
- More respect during and more cooperation afterward
- Less harmful impact on children
- More input and control over the outcome
What Is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation, except that each party is counseled by an attorney who is trained in collaborative law methods. The parties specifically agree not to litigate — if either spouse walks away from the process, their collaborative attorneys cannot represent them in contested proceedings. They would have to start from scratch with new lawyers.
The parties engage in four-way collaborative sessions to work out the details of property division, child custody, financial support and other pertinent matters. Outside professionals such as counselors, financial advisers or other experts may be involved in the negotiations as needed. By agreeing not to litigate, there is less gamesmanship. Everything is on the table and the only direction to go is forward. Neither party gets everything they want, but the agreement is on their own terms rather than dictated by a judge.
Harrisburg Collaborative Divorce Attorneys
Karl Hildabrand is an accomplished trial lawyer but handles a growing number of divorces through collaborative law. He is trained in collaborative divorce and mediation, and is an active member of the Collaborative Professionals of Central Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
We can help you explore the merits of collaboration and whether you and your situation might benefit from alternative dispute resolution. Contact our office today to schedule an initial phone consultation. You can reach us by phone at 717.233.6633 or via email.