– Pennsylvanians who find themselves involved in civil law matters now have an alternative route to finding a resolution thanks to legislation by Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York) that was signed into law by the governor on Thursday.
“Collaborative law has a proven record of success and allows those who find themselves in civil matters, such as divorce, a less costly alternative than tradition litigation,” Klunk said. “The alternative dispute resolution process is already used by hundreds of attorneys in the state. Act 55 of 2018
creates a uniform standard for collaborative law across Pennsylvania.”
Collaborative law is a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process for parties who wish to have legal matters resolved outside the courtroom. Cases in which the process is used include family law, business law and estate distribution.
One of the hallmarks of collaborative law is that parties are individually represented by counsel dedicated not only to their respective clients’ interests, but also to resolving the dispute without resorting to traditional litigation. Additionally, parties agree that, should they fail to negotiate a resolution, they will each be required to retain new counsel for any subsequent litigation.
The chances of resolutions not being reached through collaborative law are slim. According to the Pennsylvania Bar Association, divorce proceedings that follow collaborative law have a 93 percent success rate. Of the remaining 7 percent, 5 percent of cases ended because couples decided to remain married and the other 2 percent were resolved through traditional litigation.
“Family law cases are understandably emotionally charged. The collaborative law process gives individuals the opportunity to reach resolutions in a respectable manner and with grace and dignity,” Klunk said. “By reaching resolutions outside the courtroom, this process also frees up our already busy courts.”
Klunk’s House Bill 1644
was amended in the Senate to include aspects of House Bill 781
to modernize the Uniform Arbitration Act.
Representative Kate A. Klunk
169th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross