the law office of mark a. criss
Located in Cranberry Township, PA
The information on this website is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice.
COLLABORATION AND MEDIATION
The stress, the high cost and the nastiness of the courtroom are avoided when the parties are able to work through their conflict collaboratively or in mediation.
Litigation should be a last resort. Too often it is chosen first. About 95% of collaborative cases end with an agreement. Mediation also produces a high closure rate.
Mediation and collaboration are suited to couples concerned with the impact of how the resolution of their conflict will affect their children, those who value their privacy, those who want to keep control of the outcome, those who recognize a need or have a desire to preserve their parental relationship or relationships with members of the other's family or who simply want to feel that they conducted themselves with a degree of dignity and civility which their friends who have been through the traditional court-based process have been unable to maintain.
Mediation and collaborative law are not recommended when there is a significant history of physical abuse, substance abuse or when one party is demonstrably dishonest to the point where good faith disclosure cannot be counted on, even to their own attorney.
If you or your spouse are considering divorce or separation, think about how you want that divorce to play out. There are choices.
A few couples can sit down and talk about their issues together. This is often the best solution but can happen only after the emotional pain of losing the relationship has been accepted by both parties.
More often, the parties are at different stages of accepting the end of the legal relationship. Amicable resolution is still possible, despite the presence of high emotion, but it is more difficult. This is where most of the bad stuff gets started.
For example, Spouse A wants to get on with life. However, spouse B is angry, hopeless and frightened. Neither party hears what the other one is saying and only wants to get their own point across. The children don't have a voice in this scenario at all. The situation degenerates into blaming and threats.
The parties assume that the only choice available to end the conflict is to hire lawyers who will get a judge to decide their case. Such a view is over-simplified and contributes to the high rate of nasty, bitter divorces.
In fact, the parties have options other than going to court. Two of those options are collaborative law and mediation. These options offer the chance of a private resolution tailored to the needs of the divorcing couple and the family as a whole.