A Better Way To Resolve Family Law Disputes

Divorce, child custody disputes and other issues in family law are notoriously difficult for everyone involved. Whether settled in court or in negotiations, these cases can be highly emotional.

Heated emotions can get in the way of reaching agreement on practical issues. They can also linger on after the legal issues are resolved, leaving both sides with bitter feelings and resentment toward each other. This is not a healthy result for anyone, but it can be especially bad for parents. In many cases, it can be damaging to the children.

In recent years, lawyers have sought new ways to help their clients avoid the most destructive aspects of divorce and family law disputes.

At my law office, CLM Family Law Services, LLC, in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, I have helped many clients resolve their divorces through adversarial negotiation and going to trial, but I have also … helped many people resolve difficult disputes using collaborative law and other tools of mediation.

What Is Collaborative Law?

Put simply, collaborative law is an approach to legal disputes that emphasizes the two parties working together to reach a mutually agreeable solution. This stands in contrast to the adversarial nature of our legal system.

When a dispute goes to a courtroom trial, the two sides argue against each other, and a judge or jury decides how to resolve the matter. Arbitration also leaves the decision to a neutral party.

Collaborative law does not give a third party the power to decide disputes. Rather, it uses collaborative techniques such as developing interests and problem solving to help the parties decide themselves how to resolve their dispute.

How Does It Work?

If you are going through a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse will have your own attorneys. When I represent you, I meet with you to determine your most important goals. As the process progresses I work with you to identify assets and develop plans for property division or any other issue on which you and your spouse need to reach resolution. Your spouse will do the same with his or her attorney. We meet with your spouse and the other attorney to negotiate mutually agreeable solutions. In many instances, a mental health professional may be enlisted to facilitate the discussion, much in the same way a mediator facilitates the mediation process.

You and your spouse may also call on neutral professionals to value real estate or other property, and if necessary we can talk to mental health professionals or child specialists to get advice about child custody issues.

Once we have a plan in place, we meet with your spouse and the other attorney to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution. Typically, a mediator facilitates the discussion.

This method of resolving family law disputes can be more cost-effective than litigation, and it gives you much greater control over your priorities.

Contact My Office

If you are going through a divorce or another family law dispute, and you think mediation and collaborative law might work for you, contact CLM Family Law Services, LLC, today. Call 412-449-9820 or contact my office by email.