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Collaborative Divorce as an Alternative to Litigation

DuPage County divorce attorneyMany individuals getting a divorce want the process to run as smoothly and quickly as possible. For some, this means that they want to avoid court. Litigation in a courtroom can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. Collaborative law is a method of problem-solving which is available to some divorcing couples. Through the collaborative law process, divorcing couples have the opportunity to exert much more control over the final divorce decree than they would have otherwise.

How Does Collaborative Law Work?

Collaborative law is one way to resolve disagreements between divorcing individuals outside of the courtroom. Those engaging in a collaborative law divorce should be focused on working with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse instead of fighting against him or her. Collaborative law is not without its requirements and rules. In order to proceed with a collaborative divorce, each spouse must retain his or her own attorney, who must be trained and certified in collaborative law. The attorneys help the parties understand their options and choose the best course of action for their unique circumstance. Another rule for collaborative law is that neither spouse may go to court. If the couple finds it necessary to go through traditional courtroom litigation, the collaborative law process ends and the attorneys involved in the collaboration are disallowed from further involvement in the case.

Spouses Must Agree to Respectfully Work Toward Solutions

Both parties must sign a contract before beginning the collaborative law process. In it, spouses must agree to several stipulations, including:

  • Working toward a resolution: Spouses must agree to work toward resolving their issues. Attempts to delay or slow the process can bring the cooperation to a halt;
  • Sharing experts: If necessary, the couple will get expert opinions from financial advisors, real estate appraisers, parenting experts, mental health specialists, or other professionals. They agree to share the costs related to these experts;
  • Disclosure of documents: Both spouses must agree to divulge any and all documents and information related to the issues the couple is seeking to resolve;
  • Respect: Each souse must agree to treat the other participants with civility;
  • Protection for children: The couple must agree to avoid involving children in the divorce process; and
  • No one may go to court: Neither spouse should threaten or use court action during the collaborative process.

Collaborative law will not work for every couple. Divorces which include hostile or uncooperative spouses may not be able to reach solutions to their disputes through the collaborative process.

Naperville Family Law Attorney with Experience in Collaborative Law

Many divorcing couples have found that the collaborative divorce process results in a speedy settlement at a fraction of the normal cost associated with divorce. If you have further questions about the collaborative divorce process, do not hesitate to contact the skilled DuPage County family law attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C.. To speak with a representative today, call 630-352-2240.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

https://www.americanbar.org/publications/gp_solo/2015/january-february/family_law_collaborative_divorce_why_underwhelming_advance.html

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