By Jamie Spero
Going through a family dispute in family court can be a lengthy, draining, and expensive experience. Additionally, and specifically in custody matters, going through a family court judge can be difficult because you lose control over your situation and the general outcome is placed in the hands of the judge. If you chose to use alternative routes in handling these matters, you will most likely retain control over the things that matter most to you in your family matter. In today’s blog, your Western PA Family Lawyers provide our readers with tips for resolving their issues while keeping their dispute out of the courthouse.
In Allegheny County, for example, if you have a custody dispute, you are sent through a process called Generations. Generations includes an educational seminar followed by a mandatory mediation with the other party. If you opt to sort things out at the mediation, you will be able to walk away with a formal custody order of court and will never need to go in front of a judge. This gives you the ability to keep your agenda and priorities in play and collaborate with the other party in order to reach a working understanding and ultimately, an order.
If you are going through a divorce in Allegheny County, you may opt to have a “four way meeting.” Both parties and their attorneys can meet and sit down together to work in a marital settlement agreement. This way both parties can put in writing what they want and ideally come to an agreement to stay out of court. This comes into play mostly when there is no pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement and the parties need to assess and determine their equitable distribution.
Alternatively, the parties may opt to arbitrate the situation. Arbitration provides much more flexibility in scheduling and can be accomplished much quicker than going through the court system. Arbitrators tend to be experts, attorneys, or ex-judges. Another great plus about arbitration, is that parties can determine what issues they want to arbitrate, meaning they do not need to address all issues in their case. This is helpful for parties who are able to mediate some issues, but need a legal judgment on others.
Of course, there are some cases that will always need to stay on a traditional litigation track. However, these options can be very helpful when dealing with a family law matter in Western Pennsylvania. These options help your family law clients save themselves time, money, and stress, so they are definitely options that if possible should be explored.
To learn more about keeping your family law dispute out of an Allegheny County courthouse, contact our PA Family Lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates.