In recent years, more parents with family law issues have turned to alternative methods of resolving their disputes instead of going to court. The days of “airing dirty laundry” in open court are largely reserved for Hollywood entertainment. Not only do people not want the expensive and time-consuming court experience, but they also want to reach an agreement with which everyone can live.
One of those alternative methods is collaborative law. It could help parents like you who may find themselves struggling to negotiate a parenting plan to find common ground and make decisions that serve the best interests of the children, while creating a workable schedule for you and the other parent.
One of the biggest draws for using collaborative law lies in the fact that the parents maintain control over the outcome. In the traditional family court setting, the judge decides your fate, not you. Furthermore, since judges must work within certain parameters more often than not, they cannot come up with inventive solutions to your custody issues.
When you and the other parent negotiate your own agreement, you can consider options that would more than likely not come up in a courtroom. Also, if you decide your own fate, the results may be more satisfying.
Each of you will need to have an attorney, but in addition, you can bring in others such as counselors to help you in the decision-making process. As a group, you can determine the best course of action to ensure that the children are well cared for and get as much access to each parent as possible. You may want to come up with a way to make the upcoming transitions easier for them, and for you.
After all, you know your children best and understand the potential obstacles you need to work through together. You could even include provisions regarding how to deal with disagreements that will more than likely occur. Raising children isn’t an easy job, and you and the other parent will disagree. Laying out how to deal with those situations ahead of time may help keep any conflicts from growing out of proportion.
The final product
After you complete the negotiations, your agreement will need memorializing on paper. It will need to comply with all current Pennsylvania family laws that apply as well. You will need to obtain the court’s approval of your parenting plan, and you would undoubtedly benefit from some legal help in that regard.