Collaborative Divorce Is About Solving Complex Problems, Not Creating More Conflict
Perhaps you’ve heard of collaborative law but you’re hazy on the details or skeptical of the concept. Or you know someone who had a good experience with collaborative divorce and wonder if this out-of-court approach could work for you.
Collaborative family law is a framework that emphasizes cooperative problem-solving and takes litigation off the table. At the same time, you still have a lawyer advising you and protecting your interests. Our attorneys have credentials and experience in collaborative law and we’re happy to explore it with you in a free consultation.
So What Is Collaborative Law?
First and foremost, collaborative law is a philosophical approach to divorce, child custody and related issues of family law. It’s a commitment by all parties to work toward solutions and avoid a costly, nasty court battle.
- Similar to mediation, the goal is to reach an out-of-court settlement that each side can live with. However, there is no neutral facilitator to “referee” the process.
- Similar to traditional divorce negotiation, each spouse is accompanied by their own lawyer. However, those lawyers are trained in the collaborative method and they are not jockeying to “win” your divorce.
Collaborative divorce commonly involves other professionals in the process, such as divorce coaches, financial advisors, forensic accountants and parenting coordinators. By involving everyone on the front end, many future conflicts and contempt of court proceedings can be avoided.
To Sign Or Not To Sign: The Agreement Not To Litigate
Collaborative divorce sometimes involves a formal nonlitigation agreement signed by all four parties (the spouses and attorneys). Neither side can pull out or torpedo the progress by escalating matters to court. We typically discourage these documents. If talks were to break down for whatever reason, your hands are tied. We could not continue as your lawyers, and you would have to hire new counsel to litigate and start the whole process over. Better to keep your options open.
We don’t file any divorce papers until the collaboration is concluded and we have agreements on paper.
Collaborative Law Leads To Lasting Solutions
Communication, cooperation and problem-solving are built into the collaborative law process. That in turn leads to more thoughtful and practical agreements, whether you are dividing the marital estate or spelling out parenting time and co-parenting ground rules. The adults and children are generally happier with the results, and you are less likely to be back in court in the near future.
The legal team at Divorce Mediation & Consulting has certified collaborative law attorneys in-house. We can help you explore collaborative divorce or alternatives such as divorce mediation or an amicable (uncontested) divorce. We practice in all Chicagoland jurisdictions, including DuPage, Will, Cook, Kane, Kendall and Lake counties. Call 630-912-6051 to set up a free consultation or email us.