Pennsylvania and other states are amenable to alternative dispute resolutions in court cases,  including in the family law arena. A collaborative divorce is often most desired by those who have young children because it is based on the parties working together to find a peaceful resolution and exit strategy. The impact on the children will thus be far more benign than in a bellicose divorce action that includes bells, whistles and unleashed emotions that reverberate like earthquakes against the courtroom walls.

However, in order to make it to the collaborative settlement table, the parties have to temper those kinds of ill feelings. An adult state of mind must prevail. Where the emotions run wide and unbridled, a collaborative divorce is going to be hard to achieve. It will take work for some participants to get to that point where they can put a lock on their emotional triggers. 

The effort to collaborate will be guided by one’s family law attorney who will provide experienced and wise guidance for the client. But despite all of the outside help that one can get, there must be a commitment to oneself to look beyond the petty battles and to envision instead a future with a new kind of relationship. Even after divorce, the family will continue in a different format, with the parents still called upon to work together to provide a healthy support system for the children.

The concept of co-parenting in a positive post-divorce environment is the ideal goal for those who are going through a collaborative divorce. During the negotiations, when old triggering events come up, one will do best to turn to one’s therapist or family law attorney to get grounded more soundly. It takes regular work to make the transition to a new relationship that does not contain the oppressive burdens of contention, conflict and competition. Building a trusting relationship with one’s legal counsel in a Pennsylvania proceeding is a good way to stay knowledgeable and focused on the goal.