More often, couples who are considering divorce want the matter to be over as peacefully and painlessly as possible. Some may even attempt the process without the assistance of an attorney because they fear involving attorneys will necessarily turn their divorce into a battle. However, enough Pennsylvania attorneys have seen the heartache and destruction of litigated divorces that they include less contentious options in their practice, such as collaborative divorce.

Divorce through collaboration allows a couple more control over their settlement decisions because they negotiate outside of court with the guidance and assistance of professionals in diverse areas, such as finances and co-parenting, if necessary. The couple begins by signing an agreement to negotiate fairly and with an open mind toward a positive resolution. This means being forthcoming about assets and other issues.

No judge or mediator oversees the proceedings. The couple’s respective attorneys ensure their rights are protected throughout the process, but the couple does the work of reaching a fair settlement. If negotiations break down, the couple must start over with new attorneys and litigate the divorce, which often gives the spouses incentive to follow through in good faith.

In many cases, a couple reaches an agreement through collaborative divorce that is much more satisfying and workable than what may be achieved in the courtroom. This is especially true for parents who prefer to settle their own parenting agreement rather than relying on the court to do it for them. It is key for a Pennsylvania couple considering this method of divorce to find individual attorneys who appreciate the benefits of collaboration and have experience in this option.