Illinois allows spouses going through a divorce to utilize a system called collaborative law, rather than the adversarial judicial process. If you are interested in learning more about whether a collaborative divorce is right for you, consult an experienced family law attorney in Illinois.
What Is the Collaborative Divorce Process?
Instead of going to trial and having a judge decide the matters that you and your spouse may not be able to resolve alone, the collaborative law process allows you to make the decisions about your divorce together, with the help of your attorneys. A collaborative divorce may also include other professionals such as therapists, financial advisors, or child psychologists.
Everyone involved in the collaborative process illustrates his or her commitment to the method by signing an agreement at the onset. If parties are unable to reach an agreement, the attorneys must bow out, and the parties will need to choose alternate counsel to pursue a trial. This gives incentive for both spouses and attorneys involved to truly try their best at collaboration.
What Are the Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce?
By using the collaborative approach, you and your spouse can develop "creative" solutions to some of the challenges you face that likely would not be available to you in a trial or court-ordered mediation. This is especially true when it comes to making decisions about parenting time and other matters that affect your children. You know your family best and are in a better position to determine your children's best interests than a judge would be.
The other great benefit to a collaborative divorce is that it is typically less expensive than going to trial or mediation. When you are able to work with your spouse to find solutions, you will likely find the process to be more efficient and less costly.
When Is a Collaborative Divorce Not Appropriate?
The collaborative divorce process is not typically appropriate when there has been abuse or domestic violence within a relationship. When one party has been abused by the other, it makes it very difficult to collaborate, and the non-abusive partner may end up feeling re-victimized.
The collaborative divorce process is also difficult to utilize when the spouses have great animosity towards each other and are unwilling or unable to speak to each other or interact in any meaningful way. Divorcing spouses frequently disagree about important issues, and that is to be expected. But, for the collaborative approach to work, both parties need to be committed to coming to a resolution.
Collaborative divorces are generally less expensive than a litigated divorce. However, going through the collaborative process only to have it devolve into an angry shouting match and then proceeding through to trial anyway is certainly not cost-effective. Your skilled DuPage County family law attorney with our law firm can discuss the issues relevant to your divorce and help you determine your best course of action for your goals.