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Sponsored Content: Resolving Conflict
Archer’s dedicated matrimonial and family law group is helping parents find common ground in the age of coronavirus.

by Peter Proko
Trying to navigate your way through a divorce is never easy, but the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic makes a difficult situation even worse. These unprecedented times have led to unique challenges in our society, which is especially true for couples who are in the midst of a separation or divorce, but who cannot always see eye-to-eye when it comes to deciding what is best for their children.
Luckily, the expert team of attorneys that make up Archer’s Haddonfield Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group have a wealth of experience in matters pertaining to divorce. Archer’s Team takes a skillful approach to helping resolve parenting conflicts based on the individual facts and circumstances of each family. With the pandemic causing a major backlog in the courts, these trusted legal minds are available to serve as “COVID coordinators” to help parents find common ground and reduce the need for costly and time-consuming litigation. This team has the knowledge and experience to resolve issues while promoting reasonableness and civility in very difficult situations.
Former Presiding Judge Marie E. Lihotz, a member of Archer’s Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Family Practice Group, explains that when navigating these uncertain times, parents must try to work together to develop temporary solutions to satisfy everyone’s concerns and do what helps their children.  
“When parents are flexible and cooperative and do not want to spend the time, emotion and money to go to court, we absolutely can help them reach an agreement,” Lihotz said. She added, most issues people think are emergent are not necessarily viewed that way by the courts, causing delayed resolution. “Delay hurts everyone. So, people willing to cooperate can expeditiously reach resolutions to allow them to get back to what they want to be doing—caring for and parenting their children.” 
With regard to mediation, Archer’s ADR group can address pressing questions facing parents during the pandemic such as: Should the child return to school in person or continue with remote learning? Are extracurricular activities something that should continue? Can one parent travel and take the children with them? If one parent has a high-risk occupation, what necessary precaution ensure a child’s safety?
Right now, concerns arise from the uncertainty of the upcoming school year and the children’s activities. “Kids can’t stay isolated,” says Lihotz. “They need other kids, so these issues must be talked out with an eye toward a creative solution.”
Because the firm’s attorneys work throughout the state and have appeared in front of many judges, their experience makes them well suited to deliver the best possible outcomes for their clients. Lihotz’s experience in the judiciary makes her uniquely qualified to provide a varied perspective. “I have a pretty good sense of how judges are going to approach a problem,” she says. “I know what they are looking for. Archer’s attorneys are practical and reasonable—they will not look to create unnecessary confrontation or problems that do not exist. Yet, the experience of the Archer Family Law Group allows us to consider important issues not on the parent’s radar; thus, eliminating possible future disagreements. That comes from experience.”
Lihotz also says mediation can help get to the root of the matter in a more amicable way. Often, a person could be rejecting a request simply out of spite. “A skilled mediator can identify if someone is being obstinate. Having that conversation with the person helps acknowledge and break down that obstacle, a skill that can only come with experience. Other disagreements arise from fear. The mediator focuses on the position and ensures both parties have adequate information. In that way, the parents develop confidence knowing all concerns for the children are heard and considered in an overall resolution.”
Flexible rates apply to work regarding pandemic related issues, including fixed rates seeking the neutral mediator or arbitrator to “just make a call on one issue,” or longer assignments to untangle more complicated, multifaceted disagreements.
“We work to achieve a plan of cooperative planning and parenting so parents face the crises together—not in conflict,” Lihotz says.
At the end of the day, divorce can be complicated and even more so when children are involved. Not only do Lihotz and her colleagues offer experienced consultation, they understand the parameters surrounding a case are exclusive to each family and require a personalized approach.
“The issues are so specific to each family. We do not take a cookie cutter approach to any case—that has never been the firm’s philosophy,” says Lihotz. “We have a group of attorneys who understand the differences and difficulties individual families face. We are committed to helping each family work toward a solution and find certainty in these uncertain times.”

One Centennial Square
33 E. Euclid Ave. | Haddonfield

856-795-2121 |

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