Businessman showing a documentAccording to the United States Census Bureau, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. In 2016, there were over 26,000 divorces in Illinois. While the process of ending a marriage is often fraught with conflict, intense emotions and a great sense of loss, an attorney trained in collaborative divorce knows that there are alternatives to the litigious traditional divorces that are increasingly common.

Traditional divorce proceedings can become long, drawn-out court cases that can cost in the tens of thousands and leave all parties with a bad taste in their mouths. When possible, it may be better for divorcing spouses and their families to consider a collaborative divorce instead.

What is collaborative law? 

Unlike the typical court-room divorce, collaborative family law focuses on problem solving and reaching agreements that benefit everyone involved. Both spouses commit to work together to come up with the solutions that are the best fit for their family, without the need of a judge. A collaborative divorce may help couples avoid the added stress, financial burden and delay that litigation can cause.

How does collaborative divorce work?

If a couple decides to pursue a collaborative divorce, they each hire a collaboratively trained divorce attorney. Both spouses and their lawyers are required to sign a participation agreement, a contract stating that all involved parties will cooperate in an effort to reach a divorce settlement without turning to court intervention. The lawyers must agree that if negotiations fall apart, the spouses will hire new legal assistance for the litigation process.

Additional professionals are also utilized in a collaborative divorce to form a team that the spouses need to ensure that the process remains non-adversarial. Depending on the specific requirements a couple may have, other team members may include the following:

  • Mediators
  • Financial advisors
  • Therapists
  • Mental health professionals

These experts can provide additional advice and support to promote good communication and compromise throughout a collaborative divorce.

Determining if a collaborative divorce is the right option

If a couple wants to experience a divorce that is civilized, respectful and promotes a positive, personalized outcome, then a collaborative divorce may be the right fit. There are many difficult issues that arise during any divorce, but using collaborative law may give both spouses the ability to work out their differences in a manner that promotes long-term cooperation.

Divorcing couples interested in a collaborative divorce may want to speak with a collaborative law divorce attorney. An attorney may be able to provide the legal guidance needed to decide whether or not this alternative style of ending a marriage is the right option.

Should you have any questions about collaborative divorce or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.