A typical divorce involves court appointments, lawyers, legal papers, time, and expenses. It is too convoluted that the mediation of the court is necessary, especially in working out disputes and coming up with agreements. For some couples, they only want nothing but a straightforward divorce.
Because going into a courtroom requires so much time, effort, and money, most couples are amenable to having out-of-court arrangements in resolving problems and settling a divorce. This cooperative approach applies to couples who no longer need a judge’s presence, only the mediation of an attorney. It is known as collaborative law or collaborative divorce.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce pertains to the process of resolving a couple’s conflict without the intervention of the court. This law aims to put an end to disputes and eventually lead the couple in settling their divorce structurally. It is a divorce procedure that entails mediation and negotiation spearheaded by a collaborative divorce attorney.
In some cases, courts require couples to undergo a collaborative divorce first before proceeding to the litigation process. For collaborative divorce to work, both parties must be willing to negotiate with one another and be mediated by a legal expert.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
What’s in a collaborative divorce for you? How will it expedite the process? How is it more applicable to you than the conventional way of getting a divorce? Listed below are the benefits of utilizing collaborative law.
1. Collaborative divorce saves you money as it is less costly than court litigation.
2. It saves you time as you will no longer have to go to numerous court meetings.
3. It can take place anywhere; you won’t have to use a formal setting.
4. There will be no pressure in trying to communicate formally. You will be able to express your thoughts and sentiments freely and honestly.
5. It gives way to civil negotiation.
6. It allows you to plan out now how to settle post-divorce disputes.
7. It allows you to suggest any arrangements that work for you.
8. There will be a cooperative approach in terms of problem-solving.
9. The stress brought to the family by court litigation will be reduced.
10. It gives you the opportunity to settle other concerns apart from legal matters.
11. It allows you to create a financial plan that can be used for future purposes.
12. You will be guided by your lawyer to settle co-parenting plans, child custody, and support as well as asset division, spousal support, etc.
Collaborative Divorce Process in Pittsburgh, PA
To provide you an idea of how a collaborative divorce process in Pennsylvania takes place, here is a step-by-step guide:
Get an attorney for each party.
Each party must have his and her attorney. When looking for one, make sure to hire a lawyer that has a broad understanding of the mediation procedure as well as the nature of negotiation. Negotiation is a relevant skill in a collaborative divorce, so look for it when searching for the right representative.
Each spouse should meet privately with their attorney.
Before meeting with your spouse and his attorney, you must first communicate with your attorney. Meet with him in private and tell him what you want to happen. Listen to him as he shows you the potential options and the possible outcomes of every decision you are about to make. Your lawyer is there to guide and balance you. Overall, let him know your ultimate goal and each underlying objective that you want to attain.
Both parties should meet with each of their attorneys.
After the meeting with each personal lawyers, it’s about time to conduct the four-way communication. Set a regular schedule for this type of meeting. It will also involve the presence of a child custody professional, an accountant, and other specialists needed.
In hiring these experts, make sure that they are neutral-sided. Their input must not be clouded with bias. Look for those who are willing to settle your divorce issues without having to involve the court.
Everybody should sign up for a “no-court” agreement.
Upon meeting with one another, take the first meeting as a chance to let everybody sign up for a “no-court” agreement, or else, things can get messy and more complicated. What’s worse, things can be more costly.
Both parties, even the attorneys and specialists, must commit themselves to the setup of working without court litigation. You may also indicate that they must withdraw from the divorce case should they draw it to any PA court.
See the need for a licensed mediator.
If the spouses find it difficult to come up with an agreement favorable for both sides, then seek a licensed mediator’s help. He will be able to provide greater options to both parties so that they can meet at one point and correspond with one another.
Call for the help of a domestic relations court in filing your divorce papers and agreement.
The final step would be filing the divorce papers and the agreements. The good news is, the process will be much easier and irrevocable. Collaborative divorce allows both parties to expedite the process through the help of a domestic relations court.
Hire a Collaborative Divorce Attorney
Due to the absence of the court, a collaborative divorce attorney will play the most integral role in the whole process. You will need an experienced, multi-skilled, and committed legal expert who will guide you in reaching your goals in this divorce. Voelker Kairys & Morris is a group of excellent lawyers who will go beyond your expectations. We will work on every aspect of the legal proceeding in your best interests.