Alternative Dispute Resolution | Pittsburgh Lawyer

Divorce does not have to be a battle. While spouses may no longer be able to live together and support each other as a married couple, this does not mean their divorce has to become a series of heated arguments and disputes.

Many times, methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation or collaborative law, can help spouses air out their differences and reach consensus on child custody, division of property, child support, spousal support (alimony) and other issues. For years, attorneys and individuals going through divorce have depended on Conflenti & Associates. Our attorney, Deborah S. Conflenti, represents clients in ADR as well as mediates disputes. Her experience and insight in these matters have helped people throughout Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas.

Ideally, there are no "winners" or "losers" in mediation or collaborative law. Rather, both sides feel that their voices have been heard and their needs have been met. This can help people take positive steps toward the next chapter of their lives.

Mediation

In mediation, the parties to a divorce, custody dispute or other issue meet with their attorneys and a mediator. The mediator's role is not to make decisions for the parties. Instead, the mediator listens as each party discusses his or her goals and interests. The mediator may then advise each party as to how a judge may view his or her position, and suggest possible options based on each party's desires. Above all, a mediator is neutral, and does not favor one side over the other.

As a mediator, Deborah wants everyone to feel comfortable about making themselves heard. She will take the time to let people express themselves and figure out workable solutions, both in the immediate future and the long term. When used effectively, mediation gives all the power to the people who must live with the result of their decisions, rather than a judge, who cannot fully understand the dynamics in play.

Collaborative Law

In collaborative law, each spouse hires his or her own lawyer. The spouses and their lawyers agree at the outset that they will not take their case to court. Should the process break down, the spouses will be required to retain new lawyers. In certain situations, it may be necessary to enlist the services of child specialists, property evaluators and other experts to assist in creating effective strategies. When spouses are active and engaged in the process, collaborative divorce can cut down on the legal costs associated with divorce. More importantly, it can help spouses move on to the next phase of their lives without feeling bitter or excluded.

Deborah Conflenti is strongly in favor of collaborative law. In fact, she was president of the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania (CLASP), and has been a member of this organization since 2008.

Contact Conflenti & Associates

To learn more about what we can do to help you resolve your divorce or family law matter, call 412-294-8270 or email us to schedule a consultation.

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