South Central Pennsylvania Collaborative Divorce & Mediation
Collaborative Divorce Lawyer and Custody Lawyer in Cumberland County, Dauphin County, York County, Adams County and Perry County
The concept of Collaborative divorce was developed in 1990 by a Minnesota lawyer who wanted to find an alternative to the destructive nature of traditional divorce litigation. In a Collaborative Divorce, both spouses hire specially trained Collaborative divorce lawyers and pledge to adhere to certain principles throughout the case. The goal of all involved is to resolve the couple’s disputes openly, respectfully and in a manner that meets the needs and interests of both parties. To do so, couples engaged in the collaborative divorce process pledge to follow an established set of guidelines:
They will not resort to the courts to resolve their case. They will work diligently and in good faith to reach an agreement that best suits their needs. They will not allow decisions about their children, their home, their savings accounts, their retirement accounts and their futures to be made for them by judges or hearing officers. Rather, they will work together to reach agreements that meet the needs of both spouses as they go forward.
Both Husband and Wife will be open and honest and will produce information on their assets and debts freely and voluntarily. They understand that by merely producing information about a particular asset, they aren’t somehow tacitly agreeing to give that asset over to the other spouse. In Collaborative cases, nothing happens until both parties say “yes.”
Both parties agree to think about and analyze their needs and interests for the future. Rather than the guerrilla warfare approach to traditional divorce where the focus is on how much damage can be inflicted on the other side without regard to whether that damage helps or hurts the inflicting party, participants in a Collaborative case pledge to consider what they need and want in the future and then undertake creative problem solving to see if both parties’ goals can be achieved.
The parties pledge to explore options and solutions until they reach an agreement that works for both spouses. At times, additional help may be needed in the form of financial planners, real estate appraisers, pension valuators or parenting experts, to name a few. When helpful to the process, the parties agree to work with these experts to fashion a result that addresses their individual needs and interests while respectfully addressing the needs and interests of their spouse.
While Collaborative cases are not easier than traditional cases, they tend to produce outcomes and agreements that are more lasting and built on far sturdier foundations than traditional divorce cases. They provide a framework for the parties to use in the future as issues arise regarding their children or their finances.
Some may question the ability of spouses to participate in the process in good faith. Issues of broken trust are often the very cause of the divorce in the first place. Nonetheless, it seems a far better result can be attained by divorcing spouses who pledge at the outset of a case to participate openly, honestly and in good faith. The parties to every Collaborative case begin by entering into a contract called a Participation Agreement. Not only do the spouses pledge to proceed honestly and in good faith but also agree that if their lawyer discovers this promise has been broken or violated, he or she will withdraw from the process and the Collaborative process will terminate causing the dishonest spouse to begin at square one in the very litigation process that he or she sought to avoid by choosing Collaborative.
Divorcing couples benefit from the experience and expertise of skilled lawyers and, in some areas, Collaborative teams, who guide them on the path to a resolution of their choosing. This growing method of resolving divorces has exploded worldwide and is now practiced by more than 3,000 professionals in more than 15 countries. Collaborative practice is evolving into areas of conflict resolution far beyond divorce and parenting issues into areas like family disputes involving probate and estates, healthcare, employment, construction and small business.
For more information contact a Collaborative lawyer at the firm or visit the web site of the Collaborative Professionals of Central Pennsylvania ( www.collaborativelawpa.com ) or the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals ( www.collaborativepractice.com ).
Why choose Colgan & Associates, LLC?
The divorce attorneys at the firm understand that the outcome of your divorce or custody matter is critically important to you. That is why they work tirelessly for you and with you in order to maximize your chances of the best possible outcome in your divorce or custody matter. At the firm, the legal team is dedicated to providing you with excellent service – because every client matters.
Contact a Collaborative Divorce Attorney at the firm today to discuss your divorce options in Pennsylvania. The firm’s team serves clients in Camp Hill, Carlisle, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, York, Cumberland County, Dauphin County, York County, Adams County and Perry County.