If you are faced with a divorce today, there are many more avenues to consider regarding the divorce process than there were years ago. Some of your options may include a traditional divorce which involves relying on the court to make the final decisions, mediation which allows you and your spouse to work together on a solution to divorce via a neutral third party, and collaborative law which is similar to mediation, but with each party being represented by collaborative attorneys.

Choosing which path is right for you depends on your situation. You may not be on speaking terms with your spouse or may feel that your spouse is keeping information from you, which may lead you to choose the traditional route, or you may have a trusting relationship with your spouse and are interested in taking the collaborative law approach. Because collaborative law is new for many, and can be a great option to consider, we have included the top questions and answers below regarding the collaborative process:

  • What is collaborative law?
    Collaborative practice is a customized, client-centered process through which families resolve divorce, child custody, and other legal issues respectfully and efficiently, avoiding litigation and focusing on solutions to meet each family’s unique needs.
  • Who is involved in this type of divorce?
    In the collaborative setting, you and your spouse are part of a team, including a financial expert, your experienced lawyer, and other professionals to assist with challenges that many families encounter such as economics, support, custody, communication, and parenting issues. Together, the team members, including the parties, craft a resolution to your domestic relations dilemmas.
  • What are the benefits of resolving a divorce in a collaborative setting?
    The collaborative process respects your privacy, financial resources, values, and time. All participants work together in a transparent, structured, and supportive environment. If the process is not successful, the professionals withdraw from the future process.

    RELATED: Read about the top divorce questions answered.
  • How is the divorce finalized in this type of divorce?
    Once you and your spouse have an agreement made, required documents are filed and a divorce decree is entered by the court. 

You have options when it comes to divorce, and we hope this information about collaborative law will help you come to a more educated decision about which path is best for you and your family.

Darren K. Ogleby, Esquire of Wilder Mahood Mckinley & Oglesby is a collaborative practitioner and can offer a free 30-minute consultation to help you choose the best process option available to resolve your divorce or other legal matters. Contact us online or call our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 412-261-4040.

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