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Wisdom from Family Law Attorney, Randy Pitler | Ep 17

Have you heard of collaborative divorce? How can the collaborative divorce system be more beneficial to a family in the long run when it comes to conflict resolution? Why should you consider collaborative divorce rather than go the usual route? In this podcast episode, I speak with family law attorney, Randy Pitler about collaborative divorce.


Randall B. Pitler is a family law attorney who believes the decisions in a divorce should
be made by the parties, not by a Judge or other third party. Based on this belief, he
founded Pitler Family Law & Mediation, P.C. in 2004 to assist parties who wish to
divorce amicably. The firm focuses on Collaborative divorce, mediation, and
uncontested divorces.

Mr. Pitler has been a pioneer in Michigan for limited scope representation. He serves on
the Family Law Council for the State Bar of Michigan, was appointed to a Michigan
Supreme Court committee to draft Court Rules for newly enacted Collaborative Law
statutes. He a past president of the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan; has
served as a guest lecturer at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and presents to numerous
community organizations. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1988 and
University of Detroit School of Law in 1992.

Visit his website and connect on Facebook



  • What is collaborative divorce?
  • Randy’s advice to parents around divorce
  • Why communication is important


Both parties sign a contract explaining that they understand how the situation will work. Everything is done out of court; everything is gone over in meetings and any information is given voluntarily with each party’s best interest at heart.

“We basically have a series of meetings until we reach a resolution. We do go through their interests, we have the parties prepare budgets, we try to give them as many tools as possible to make decisions because we do want the parties fully involved in the process.”

The collaborative divorce procedures include a divorce coach to help the parties deal with the emotional aspects. When it is time to negotiate, both parties can focus on the settlement instead of getting caught up with the emotional attachments and possible conflicts.

Collaborative divorce procedures also include financial coaches that help with the budgets and help the parties with planning their future investment options and what possibilities are available to them post-divorce.

It is more efficient than standard divorce procedures because they get more advice and expertise for lesser expense due to the fact that the parties work together instead of against one another.


Always try to handle divorce as amicably as possible, especially when there are children involved.

“My view is that you should always be focusing on the co-parenting aspects, because people sometimes get so hung up on winning and fighting. It’s so important to be supportive of the children.”


Getting both parties to understand that something was not working. In a collaborative divorce, they spend time getting each party to hear each person’s side and then evoke the third story, the story that happens in the middle of those two versions. The third story can help each person in the divorce situation understand one another better, it encourages empathy.

Encouraging a situation where communication is vital sets up a system for both parties to keep the good communication going so that they do not end up fighting in court often because they have a system for figuring out issues through discussion, with the help of a collaborative attorney.


About your host:

Susan Orenstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Orenstein is a licensed psychologist and relationship expert  with over twenty years of experience. In 2005, she founded Orenstein Solutions, a private counseling practice in North Carolina that serves children, teens, adults and couples. 

She created the After the First Marriage Podcast to support individuals through the significant life transition of divorce. She whole-heartedly believes that “happily ever after” is an option for everyone, and is dedicated to helping divorcées regain the confidence to pursue a fulfilling future after the first marriage. 

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the Facebook community, or follow along on Twitter,  you’re in the right place!

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