Divorce

Marriage is a contract. And, while it may seem unusual to think about it in this way, divorce is simply a termination of that contract. In Pennsylvania, you can end the marriage contract by mutual agreement with your spouse. This is a “no fault” divorce and the most common way couples choose to end their marriage. There are also fault grounds for a divorce that require a hearing and are rare.

Regardless of how you may proceed, ending a marriage is never easy and most times involves financial issues related to support for you or your children. If you have assets and debts, those will need to be apportioned between you and your spouse. In Pennsylvania, this division is known as equitable distribution.

If you have children, you will need to agree on a schedule of time for them to spend with each parent during the week, as well as holidays, vacations and school breaks. An understanding will need to be reached on how major decisions relating to the children’s education, health and spiritual training will be made. Not surprisingly, decisions involving the children are often emotionally charged.

You can choose the Collaborative Process as an alternative to the traditional court system to resolve all of these issues. By the very nature of the adversarial court system, divorcing spouses undermine and attack each other. Feelings of anger, frustration and fear may worsen. Judges, who are strangers to you and your family, are left to make important decisions for you about your children and your financial future.

Contrast this court process with the Collaborative Process in which Collaborative Lawyers and their clients commit to resolving all of these issues away from the court and judges. The Collaborative Lawyer is one member of a Collaborative Team of professionals that can help you through this process. Other Team members include a Financial Specialist, Child Specialist and Coach. Neutral Financial Specialists will help you and your spouse gather financial information, develop an understanding of the financial picture created by your family and offer financial options that meet the needs of and are desirable for you and your family. Child Specialists are neutral and ready to assist parents in developing parenting plans and custody arrangements that best meet their children’s needs. Licensed mental health professionals, serving as divorce Coaches, can address the anger, fear, disappointment and regrets of divorce. The care and well being of your children are the priority.

If you are thinking of divorce and are interested in Collaborative Law, contact one of our Collaborative Lawyers at Collaborative Law Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania to schedule a consultation. We also provide services in Delaware County, Bucks County and more. Our Collaborative Lawyers will be able to help you decide if this approach is right for you.

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