Montgomery County, PA Collaborative Divorce Attorney
Collaborative law, also referred to as collaborative divorce, is a process of family law. It enables couples who have decided to divorce to work with their attorneys and other family professionals, if needed, to achieve a settlement that best meets the needs of both parties and any children involved. This can be done while avoiding uncertain outcomes in court proceedings and the threat of litigation that can be contested.
Pennsylvania collaborative divorce is a voluntary process that is initiated when the two parties sign a contract, called the Participation Agreement, which binds them to the process and also disqualifies their respective attorneys from representing either one in any future litigation. Both parties also agree to the complete disclosure of all necessary financial documentation and information. The majority of the work in a collaborative divorce occurs in "four-way meetings" where both parties and their respective attorneys are present to arrange the details of the Pennsylvania divorce.
The key to a collaborative divorce is a couple’s ability to work together, as well as having experienced attorneys that are well-versed in collaborative law. Both couples are required to come to a mutual agreement that they will be respectful of each other during the process. After brainstorming possible solutions, a mutually acceptable option is selected to create a fair and reasonable agreement both parties can agree to and live with. The agreement is then entered into the court as a judgment of Pennsylvania divorce.
Mediation can also be used within a divorce, or a mediated divorce may be conducted separately. The main difference between a mediated divorce and a collaborative divorce is that in a collaborative divorce, the parties work together along with their respective lawyers, while in a mediated divorce the parties work with a single mediator. Depending on the complexity of the situation, mediation can occur in a single meeting or in multiple meetings. The mediation process can help alleviate the stress that accompanies court appearances and meeting court dates by allowing both parties to schedule meetings when and where works best for them.
As with collaborative divorce, after mediation both parties have the option to go to court if it is necessary. All aspects of mediation sessions are confidential and the information is not able to be used in a court setting to help prevent failed mediations from tainting proceedings in court.
The privacy that the collaborative and mediation process in a Pennsylvania divorce offers can help preserve both party’s financial resources as well as their emotions. Unlike the anger and bitterness that often results from a traditional divorce that are often contentious, family bonds and relationships between the two parties can often be maintained and preserved both during and after the divorce process.
Not all divorces need to be drawn out and painful. If you believe you and your spouse can put your differences aside and work together in a collaborative or mediated divorce, you may want to consult with a Montgomery County, PA divorce attorney. The decisions you make during this difficult time can affect the rest of your life, so consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable family law lawyer can help you decide the best option in your situation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz have dedicated their practice to assisting individuals who have decided to divorce. Call our office today at (610) 645-0100 or (866) 290-9292 for a free telephone consultation and to talk with us about the collaborative divorce process.