The Collaborative Process
Resolving Disputes Without Going to Court
The collaborative process in divorce came into practice in California in the 1980’s. Since that time, collaborative law techniques have been used to find real solutions to countless divorce and family law disputes throughout the country.
The goal of collaborative family law is to find real, lasting solutions to difficult issues in a setting that is cooperative, amicable and reasonably harmonious. Only a small number of attorneys are experienced in the practice of collaborative law in the context of divorce in Pennsylvania. The team at the Sweeney Law Offices has received specific training from the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania (CLASP) and has extensive experience in the collaborative resolution of divorce and other family law disputes.
If you are interested in exploring your options for finding a reasonable solution to a divorce, property division, child support or alimony dispute through the collaborative family law process, contact our offices in the Pittsburgh area today.
How Does the Collaborative Family Law Process Work?
Both parties involved in collaborative family law proceedings are represented by attorneys. These attorneys are specially trained to identify issues and negotiate solutions without the necessity of court intervention.
In the collaborative family law process, both parties must agree to make a good faith effort to discuss problems reasonably and work together to reach a mutually agreeable solution. If at any time during the proceedings either party threatens to resort to litigation, the collaborative family law process is terminated.
Collaborative family law is generally seen as a more harmonious – and more cost-effective – way of obtaining fair settlements in divorce, custody and support matters. Like other alternative dispute resolution methods (such as mediation), collaborative family law enables parties to resolve their differences without going to trial.
Unlike mediation, however, collaborative divorce requires a certain level of commitment to the non-adversarial process. Each party’s lawyer agrees not to represent their client should the collaborative process fail and the case goes to trial.
Also, experts used in collaborative family law sessions – including accountants and child psychologists – cannot appear in any subsequent court proceedings, nor can the parties’ statements or witnesses’ testimony be used at trial.
Want To Know More? Contact Us Today
To find out if the collaborative approach may be a real option in your case, we encourage you to talk to an experienced lawyer at our offices in Cranberry Township, located 20 minutes north of downtown Pittsburgh. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment. We offer free parking for your convenience. Major credit cards are accepted.