COVID-19 ALERT: The Courts Are Closed!
We can help resolve your legal issues without going to court!
This is a difficult time for all of us! We know many of you have legal questions, especially custody questions. We don't have all of the answers, but we have some. We can help resolve those issues using technology and our special training in alternative dispute resolution. We are also getting requests for wills and healthcare directives. We can help with that, too.
Contact any of us at the email addresses below.
CPR can handle BOTH parties' legal needs because our attorneys are associated
Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you
can. Point out to them
how the nominal winner is often a real loser --in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good [person]. There will still be business enough.” ~Abraham Lincoln
What is the Center for Peaceful Resolution?
We are a group of independent lawyers with heart and we are passionate about what we do. We use rational problem solving to find solutions, instead of erecting barriers to resolving conflicts. Our techniques empower our clients as we explore creative options in a cooperative environment. We encourage recognition and acknowledgement of each party's viewpoint, so that an amicable resolution can be reached and there is hope for the future for all involved.
Our mission is to offer legal services that will keep our clients out of court. We focus on resolving disputes amicably even under difficult circumstances. We are able to do that because all of our attorneys are trained in the collaborative process and mediation. We treat our clients as equal partners, and inform them of their choices throughout the process. We make sure that our clients have a voice and that their voice is heard.
We are peacemakers. Even though we are lawyers, our goal is to keep you out of court. We advocate for our clients, but don't fight just for the sake of fighting. We know that the court system can be toxic for families and causes people to be adversarial instead of trying to find common ground. We believe that families should not be torn apart by divorce and custody matters, but can instead learn to evolve into new and different family structures with healthy co-existing futures. We strive for win-win solutions instead of pitting one party against the other.
DIVORCE AND SEPARATION
We can help parties who choose to end their marriage or relationship through peaceful processes such as mediation, collaborative divorce, or cooperative divorce. We help you to resolve your issues in a peaceful, productive manner and draft divorce complaints, marital settlement agreements, and other legal documents necessary to complete the process.
We can help resolve custody disputes, devise parenting plans, draft custody agreements, and draft and file appropriate documents with the court to make your agreement legally binding and enforceable. We help arrange counseling for children when needed, and help find co-parent counselors for parents who have trouble communicating or difficulty dealing with parenting issues.
We handle child support, spousal support, alimony pendente lite or APL (alimony pending litigation), and alimony issues as a result of divorce.
Our attorneys are all experienced in helping same sex couples resolve complicated issues related to divorce, custody, and support. We also assist transgender clients with name changes and issues unique to the transgender community.
The collaborative process is a dispute resolution process designed to resolve disputes in a respectful, dignified manner, WITHOUT COURT INTERVENTION. The clients and their collaboratively trained attorneys work as a team to come up with solutions to resolve all of the parties' issues. The team may decide to use neutral professionals such as financial specialists or mental health professionals to deal with specific issues.
We offer mediation services for any kind of dispute, including separation and divorce, custody, real estate matters, business disputes.
... is a process to resolve legal matters, such as divorce and custody, that keeps you out of court.
How does it work?
One or both parties contact an attorney who is specially trained to resolve legal matters without court intervention. The attorney explains the options that are available to the parties, including litigation, mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce. If the parties want to proceed with the collaborative process, both parties need to have a collaborative attorney. We recommend choosing from one of the other CPR attorneys to make the process seamless.
Sign the Participation Agreement
Once the attorneys are retained, the parties and their attorneys meet and sign a participation agreement stating, among other things: they agree to resolve the matter outside of court; they will be open and honest in their communications; they will voluntarily disclose all relevant information; and they agree to communicate constructively and respectfully.
Assemble the Team
The parties also decide if they need or want the assistance of neutral professionals. Collaboratively trained mental health professionals can act as a neutral divorce coach to help the parties with emotional issues, and to facilitate meaningful communication. If there are children who have special needs, a neutral child advocate can be retained. For financial issues such as support and equitable distribution, a neutral financial specialist trained in the collaborative process can be retained to help with complex financial issues. If the parties do not have any need for neutrals, the process can proceed with just the parties and their attorneys.
The team, including the parties and their lawyers (and coach or financial neutral if needed), gathers in a series of meetings to resolve the parties' issues. The professionals help the parties identify their goals and objectives at the beginning of the process, and commonalities are acknowledged. Before each meeting, an agenda is prepared. During the meeting, both short term and long term issues are addressed. One of the attorneys takes notes so that meeting minutes can be prepared and distributed to everyone. Agreements are made, and homework is assigned when necessary to both parties and professionals.
One of the terms of the participation agreement is to allow the professionals to openly discuss the case. Between the meetings, the team communicates to address any issues and help the parties resolve any interim issues, and work towards resolution of long term issues.
Resolution of the Matter
Once the parties have worked out all of their issues, the legal documents to resolve the matter are drafted and filed.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a peaceful process used to resolve conflict. When parties choose mediation, they use the help of a neutral party or mediator who is specially trained in mediation techniques. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator to help the parties have a productive conversation. The mediator does not act like a judge or make decisions for the parties, but helps the parties to change their interactions from negative to positive and from destructive to constructive, so that they are the decision makers.
How does mediation work?
The mediator does not take sides, but always acts as a neutral. The participation is voluntary. The mediator explains the process, asks the parties if they have specific wishes or ground rules of how the session will be conducted, and explains that the meetings are confidential.
The mediator listens to each party as he or she presents his or her views on the matter. The mediator may summarize or re-frame an issue to try to help one party hear and understand what the other is saying. The mediator also helps the parties find common ground that they may not realize exists. Many times parties are able to come to agreement on the issues in dispute and the mediator can help the parties formulate an agreement.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration requires an independent third party to make a binding decision for you. It is highly recommended you have an attorney represent you in this process. Evidence and testimony relevant to the issues are presented at a scheduled trial. The Arbitrator tenders decisions that will be presented to a judge for entry of a final order that is not appealable absent fraud or misconduct. Child support and custody are always modifiable.
How does Arbitration work?
Arbitration is similar to going to court, where both parties present their case, and the arbitrator makes a decision. It is conducted much like a court hearing with testimony being taken under oath. The the rules of evidence and civil procedure both apply.
Maribeth Blessing’s law practice is concentrated in Family Law. Maribeth’s legal career has been focused on preserving and protecting families. As a prior teacher, Maribeth observed the tragic impact on children of parents going through a bitter courtroom divorce. Although an experienced litigator, Maribeth has advocated for resolving disputes in a sensible, dignified and family friendly manner. Maribeth has vast training in alternative dispute resolution processes including mediation, arbitration and collaborative family law. Maribeth believes strongly that although marriages and relationships may dissolve, the family unit must survive. Even where there are no children, people deserve closure, respect and a voice in resolving their emotional and financial issues. For Maribeth, success is not based upon the battles she wins, but rather the battles that are avoided through artful communication and creative solutions.
Kathy Bloom, the managing partner at Bloom Peters, LLC, focuses her practice in the areas of family law, transactional law and mediation. She is experienced in resolving high conflict divorce and custody issues, including alienation, as well as, mutual consent divorces and amicable custody agreements. It is her belief that clients deserve respect, courtesy, and cooperation while dealing with life altering issues, such as divorce, custody, and support, purchasing or selling a home, or executing a will or power of attorney. While acting as a compassionate advocate, Ms. Bloom combines the unique ability to provide simple explanations of complex issues, and strives to make the process as painless as possible. She understands the need to fight when it is necessary, negotiate when it is appropriate, and compromise when it is required.
Cathy Cardozo is a family law attorney and mediator. She has conducted mediations in divorce and custody, as well as acting as a coach. She does volunteer work with Good Shepherd Mediation Center. Cathy focuses her practices exclusively on family law in Pennsylvania, which includes divorce and equitable distribution, custody and visitation, child and spousal support and grandparents’ rights.
Ellen Fischer is a caring, capable family law attorney representing clients in the general and LGBTQ communities for 25 years. She is highly experienced in guiding clients through a philosophy of amicable settlement and collaboration. Working with families in a major life transition requires the kind of optimism, experience and legal knowledge Ellen brings to her cases. Her many years of trial experience has taught her that it is absolutely in the best interests of children and their parents to work collaboratively no matter how difficult and unusual the circumstances. Ellen handles all areas of family law including divorce, relationship dissolution, custody, spousal and child support, division of assets, grandparent custody, relocation matters, pre-nuptial, post-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements.
Joanne Kleiner has represented families in a wide range of matters, including divorce, support, custody, and enforcement and modifications of agreements. She has spent many hours in courtrooms, watching families become more divided and embittered as they face each other in court. She has also spent many hours negotiating settlements, and helping families develop resolutions that best suit their particular needs. Because of her long experience with litigation, Joanne is a firm believer that family disputes are best resolved outside of a courtroom setting, where families can control their own futures and make the decisions that are best for their individual situations.
We are lawyers with heart!
Family law issues can be resolved peacefully without going to court. Let us show you how.
Serving Southeastern Pennsylvania
Abington Horsham Jenkintown Rockledge Willow Grove
(610) 298-1081 (215) 366-7839 (215) 886-1266 (215)663-9016 (215) 659-2600
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