Collaborative Law Attorney – Pittsburgh, PA
Collaborative Law – What is it?
Collaborative Law for Family matters can include: Divorce, Custody and/or Support and is chosen by people who want greater control over their situation and prefer to resolve their differences without having to go to court.
The Collaborative process is a way to settle disputes where both parties sign a contract to commit to a system aimed at settlement, through good faith, honesty, and full disclosure.
How Does it Work?
Each side will be represented by independent counsel, who specifically may not represent you in future litigation, in the event the process is not successful. This method involves multiple meetings and often utilizes a mental health professional (“the neutral”) and financial professionals as well as other experts as needed depending on the complexities of the particular issues involved.
Who chooses Collaborative process?
Collaborative Divorce can work great, but it is not appropriate for every Family Law case, such as those involving domestic violence or where one party does not want to participate.
This is a voluntary alternative to traditional litigation and is becoming a more popular choice for dispute resolution in PA (and across the country/world) as more clients learn about the benefits of choosing this option.
The best candidates are those people who prefer not to fight and can commit to rational, reasonable negotiations.
Any parents can use this process to resolve Custody issues, since Custody is generally the most emotionally charged part of family law, and this system gives them a chance to work together to craft a parenting plan and schedule that works for everyone, while putting the children first. It also lends itself to better co-parenting after the process and less problems down the road since the parents want what is best for their kids.
Married couples with moderate to high net worth seem to also gravitate towards this setting, for a number of reasons. It is more private that being at court and it gives people used to making decisions the continued ability to have a say in the outcome rather than having a Judge or Master decide for them. It is also much faster, more relaxed and saves money compared to litigation.
There is less stress than litigation, and generally more concern about each party and their well-being. Emotions are acknowledged and addressed. The meetings are loosely structured, yet far less formal than a typical court setting. They are held at one of the attorney’s offices (or back and forth at both) or at a neutral location, often at the location of the mental health professional. Collaborative law is also much less expensive than litigation.
This area only continues to expand, as more attorneys are collaboratively trained and available to represent clients in a collaborative setting.
The clients we have helped in this manner express relief not just over the money they save, but the peace of mind they achieve knowing things do not need to be messy or destructive. They are also pleased with the ease of the process, and the feeling of accomplishment from active participation in assisting with reaching a mutually acceptable end result.
Major Change Re: PA Collaborative Law – The Pennsylvania Collaborative Law Act
On June 28, 2018, The Pennsylvania Collaborative Law Act was signed by Governor Wolf after passing the PA Senate on 47-2 and the PA House of Representatives 193-0 on June 22, 2018.
House Bill 1644 printer’s number 3783 makes changes to 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 73 and created a new Title 74. The changes to Title 73 deal with Arbitration and Title 74 is the new Collaborative Law Act under 7401. The complete text of both sections is here.
This marks the beginning of a new PA Law and reflects the years of hard work behind the scenes by so many collaborative professionals and lawmakers.
For the collaborative law community this is truly exciting news and for the citizens of PA, this makes the collaborative process even more legitimate and organized.
This new law should only lead to more families turning to Collaborative Law as a proven and less stressful alternative to traditional family law litigation.
Certification and Memberships
Mr. Levine received his Certification in Collaborative Law from the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania (CLASP) where he subsequently joined as a member. All CLASP members are also required to be certified mediators as well. He is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). Additionally, Scott is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Collaborative Law Committee.
Want to find out more?
Contact us to schedule appointment with our attorney if you want to settle your disputes without litigation. We proudly serve clients in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County and throughout Western Pennsylvania. All prospective clients seeking information about this litigation alternative receive a free 30-minute consultation to discuss the collaborative process. Call us today: 412.303.9566.