Collaborative Divorce in Illinois
Divorce is often considered to be an adversarial battle. However, this does not have to be the case. While it is not appropriate for everyone, the process of collaborative divorce can work very well for certain couples. If the parties in a divorce can set aside their differences and cooperate with one another, a collaborative divorce may be a more efficient and less contentious alternative to the traditional divorce process.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
During a divorce, issues such as property distribution and child custody must be resolved. Under a collaborative divorce, a couple cooperates to make these important determinations. Both parties retain their own attorneys who are specially trained in collaborative divorce. All four people come together regularly in an attempt to arrive at an agreement. The focus of a collaborative divorce is to resolve the issues in a civil manner, without placing blame on anyone.
In addition to the attorneys, other professionals can help the parties come to an agreement. These professionals include financial advisors, child specialists, and divorce coaches. A divorce coach is a mental health professional who helps facilitate communication of the emotional concerns that the parties have during the process of divorce. However, these coaches do not replace the role of a therapist.
If successful, the parties can avoid litigation and contested hearings in court. However, it is important to note that if a collaborative divorce fails and litigation is necessary, the attorneys are typically disqualified from representing the parties in court. In other words, unless otherwise agreed, the parties may have to find new attorneys to represent them at court proceedings.
If an agreement is reached, the terms of the agreement will be drafted into legally binding documents filed with the court. These documents force the parties to abide by the terms of the settlement. It is common for the petition for dissolution of marriage to also be filed at this time.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
One of the main benefits of collaborative divorce is the avoidance of litigation in court. By avoiding litigation, the overall cost of a divorce may be significantly lower than the traditional process. In addition, the parties take full control of the decision making in regards to important issues like the division of property. As a result, the potential different ways that the issues may be resolved increases. So long as the parties agree, the terms of that agreement are usually recognized. Further, it is more likely that the parties will abide by the terms of the agreement because each party negotiated and agreed to those terms, as opposed to having an order imposed upon them by a judge.
Help with Your Divorce
The decision to begin the process of divorce is often a difficult one, particularly if children are involved. If you would like more information about the divorce process, including collaborative divorce, speak with the dedicated Illinois family law lawyers at MKFM Law today. We can provide compassionate help for you during all stages of a divorce. Call 630-665-7300 today.