PA House Passes Bill to Offer Private Resolution for Family Disputes

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HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives yesterday passed H.B.917, which introduces the Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act that will enable families to resolve disputes privately with the help of an arbitrator. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

“Settling family law disputes in court can be acrimonious and financially devastating proceedings,” said State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester. “The partner with deeper pockets and access to the best legal counsel often has an advantage, frequently placing children in the middle of drawn-out legal battles.”

While arbitration is commonly used in commercial contexts, Shusterman said that it has recently gained popularity in family law.

“I am extremely grateful to have the full support of my colleagues from both sides of the House,” Shusterman said. “I thank Representative Kate Klunk for championing this bipartisan legislation during the last House session. Families settling legal disputes already have a tough time. We can help take the sting out of those proceedings by providing families more options to come to the best resolution that works for them, and House Bill 917 does just that.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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