Understanding Participation Agreements in Illinois Collaborative Divorce Cases
Most people who choose to end their marriage want to mitigate the hostility, stress, and contention of the divorce process as much as possible. However, they also want to ensure that they will receive the best possible outcome. For many, resolving the divorce through collaborative law is the answer.
An Illinois collaborative divorce is a type of dissolution of marriage that allows couples to end their marriage through negotiation and agreement rather than through litigation. In a collaborative divorce, the parties work with their respective attorneys to reach an agreement on all aspects of their divorce, including child-related issues, property division, and spousal support. Once an agreement is reached, the parties submit the agreement to the court for approval.
Participation Agreements Are at the Heart of the Collaborative Divorce Process
One of the key aspects of a collaborative divorce is the participation agreement. The participation agreement is a contract between the spouses, their attorneys, and any other participants that outlines the terms of the divorce process.
The participation agreement typically includes a commitment by the parties to:
- Negotiate in good faith - The spouses will make genuine efforts to cooperate, negotiate issues honestly, and work toward a reasonable agreement.
- Disclose all relevant information - The spouses will provide accurate financial data, important documents, and other relevant information freely.
- Refrain from making threatening or derogatory remarks - The spouses will maintain civility during the collaborative divorce process.
- Work with financial experts, counselors, and/or mediators as needed - The spouses and their attorneys may invite outside experts such as financial advisors and child specialists to participate in the collaborative process.
- Keep the case out of court - Parties in a collaborative divorce will not threaten litigation or take actions through the court. The participation agreement may also include a provision that states that if the parties are unable to reach an agreement and the collaborative divorce process ends, the attorneys will withdraw from the case, and the parties might have to hire new attorneys to represent them in court. This provision encourages the parties to work together to reach an agreement.
Contact a DuPage County, Illinois Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
Collaborative divorce is an alternative resolution method that may help divorcing spouses reach an agreement about asset division, child-related issues, spousal maintenance, and other divorce concerns without litigation. To learn more, contact our experienced Wheaton collaborative divorce lawyers and schedule a consultation. Call Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC at 630-665-7300 today.