• Kathy Bloom

'Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season for Divorce

Vacations, outdoor events, getting the kids ready to go back to school – these are the things we think about at the end of the summer. But for some, August is the season for divorce.

Research​ from the University of Washington found the number of divorce filings in a number of states consistently peaked in the months of August and March. https://www.washington.edu/news/2016/08/21/is-divorce-seasonal-uw-research-shows-biannual-spike-in-divorce-filings/ What's behind the seasonal up-tick? Several factors could be at play.

“Rather than a time of bonding, the holidays and vacation periods can often lead to disappointment as couples and families discover that increased time together may exacerbate existing problems rather than help mend them,” Anne Tamar-Mattis, attorney and Executive Director of the IACP said. Tamar-Mattis is the Executive Director of the ​International Academy of Collaborative Professionals​ (IACP), a global membership-based organization that aims to keep these divorcing couples and their children out of court, using a popular method of family conflict resolution called Collaborative Practice.

Collaborative Practice, Divorcing Differently.

Unlike traditional divorce, Collaborative Practice gives couples more control over the outcome of their separation. Rather than having a judge decide the family's future through litigation, Collaborative Practice allows couples to make flexible agreements that address the financial, psychological and legal aspects of divorce. In addition to often being less expensive than a traditional divorce, Collaborative Divorce takes the entire family into account.

“Moms and dads can’t divorce, husbands and wives do, and that is one big difference. Traditional divorce is all about the settlement, whereas Collaborative is about durable agreements that say this is an agreement that’s going to be okay in five months, in five years, in fifteen years. In traditional law, you’re not going to find that,” Anne Lucas, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and member of King Collaborative Law in Seattle said.

The Collaborative team starts with two lawyers representing each of the parties. The team then decides whether to employ other neutral specialists to help with the process, such as a financial specialist, and mental health and/or child specialists. These jointly retained specialists help couples navigate divorce and negotiate solutions that are mutually beneficial. The Collaborative process is a popular alternative for those who don’t want the details of their divorce to be made public. This client-focused method is becoming increasingly popular with divorce attorneys who want to help make divorce less contentious and painful for families.

“My parents divorced when I was about five years old and I’m the son of a family lawyer. I’ve seen how divorce affects families and the effects it has on attorneys as well. So when I came to law school and I decided to go into family law, I wanted to do it in a different way. I know that there are situations where litigation is necessary or it may be the best way to go for a particular client. But I also know that there are better solutions out there, there are better ways to do it,” Chris Farish, IACP President, and collaborative lawyer at Quaid Farish, LLC. in Dallas said.

In the Philadelphia area, more and more divorcing couples are looking for alternative ways to end their marriage in a civilized and cost effective way. Collaborative is one of the best approaches for moving forward in a private and civilized fashion where the clients are in control of the process and it is not about the fight, but about working through the issues and coming to a fair and equitable resolution.

The attorneys at Bloom Peters, LLC always to try to assist clients to try to work out things amicably. If you are interested in learning how to stay out of court for a divorce or custody matter call us at (215)366-7839 or email us at info@bloompeters.com.


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