Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative practice is a way for separating or divorcing couples to work as a team with trained professionals to resolve disputes respectfully without going to court.  Each client has a lawyer as an advocate at the collaborative table but the process is designed to empower the clients to be intimately involved in developing the solutions to their case.  This process differs  from the litigation model in which settlements are often reached with the two lawyers and a hearing master or judge without much participation from the individuals getting divorced.    More information about Collaborative Practice is available through the IACP

The Collaborative Process is based upon three basic principles:

  • A participation agreement signed by the parties and their attorneys not to go to Court.  If court action is required, the lawyers in the Collaborative Process cannot continue their involvement in the case.
  • An honest exchange of information by the parties and a commitment to negotiate in good faith.
  • A solution that takes into account the highest priorities, common interests and goals of the entire family incluing children.

This option is particularly well-suited for families  who:

  • Wish to keep their family matters private;
  • Wish to emerge from the divorce on good terms, able to interact respectfully with each other in the community or while raising children together;
  • Would like maximum flexibility to craft a settlement that will work for their particular circumstance;
  • Need some support to navigate a difficult and emotional process.

Catherine DoyleMelissa Shirey and Melissa Pagliari are members of Collaborative Professionals of Northwest Pennsylvania and The International Academy of Collaborative Practice.  Please contact Attorney Doyle,  Attorney Shirey or Attorney Pagliari to learn more about Collaborative Practice, and how it may work for you.