Family Law

Pittsburgh Divorce Settlement Advocate and Counselor at Law

There are three approaches people can take to reaching a divorce settlement agreement:

  1. They can use the Allegheny County family law courts and have a judge make decisions for them regarding property division and child custody.
  2. They can use mediation to reach divorce settlement agreements and child custody agreements of their own, reducing the time and the cost of completing a divorce.
  3. They can use the collaborative law process. This process uses mediation methods while giving clients access to the knowledge and experience of a divorce attorney working on their behalf. They will also have access to a host of additional professional resources to help them reach agreements. Clients who use mediation or collaborative law will have a more durable agreement, because both parties will have been more involved in achieving—and invested in maintaining—the result.

  4. At the Law Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esquire, I work with clients using all three of these methods. I have been an Allegheny County family law attorney for 20 years and a certified mediator for over 10 years, and I am a certified collaborative practice lawyer. I have experienced the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and can advise you on the strategy most likely to gain results in your case.

    Contact my Pittsburgh law office to schedule a consultation to learn more. Your initial consultation is at a reduced fee, and I offer a sliding fee scale for legal services.

    Taking Your Divorce to Family Court

    Some divorce cases simply cannot be resolved in the mediation or collaborative law processes. They require aggressive legal advocacy in court. If your former partner is unwilling or unable to negotiate or to engage in the settlement process honestly—or if your relationship has been plagued by violence or threats—you will probably need to go before a family law judge, hearing officer, conciliator, or other third party. I am your legal advocate in court or in any of these proceedings.

    Reaching a Divorce Agreement through Mediation

    It’s increasingly common for men and women to agree that they want a divorce and that they want to maintain an amicable relationship. They may already agree on many of the issues of marital property division and child custody, or they may have some areas where they need help reaching agreement.

    Mediation involves the use of a neutral third party to help negotiate a divorce settlement agreement. Divorce mediation is generally much less costly, takes much less time, and produces separation and divorce agreements that both parties find agreeable. Because mediation is sensitive to the emotional needs of the two people, it can maintain or even build a better working relationship.

    The Added Resources of Collaborative Law in Divorce

    Much like mediation, collaborative law allows the members of the couple to be intimately involved in reaching a satisfactory divorce agreement. In the collaborative law process, both parties have their own lawyer who is certified in the collaborative law process. Each party and lawyer signs a pledge that they will never go to court and that all details will be worked through in four-way meetings.

    Additional resources are available to help the parties understand the issues and overcome difficulties. For example, the parties can access a parenting coach or a financial planner who does not take sides but who brings valuable information to the table to help the parties reach agreement.

    Turning an Agreement into a Divorce Decree

    When an agreement has been reached in mediation or the collaborative law process, an attorney will draft it for the court and bring it to the judge, who will sign it into an enforceable court order.

    Contact my office to learn more.