Collaborative divorce may be considered as an alternative
Ending marriages is not something many Illinois couples go through more than once or twice in their lifetimes. Many believe what they have heard about divorce and the trauma of litigation. However, there are alternative options, and couples who decide to divorce while they are still communicating may find that they can avoid going to court. Spouses who can sit down and talk through contentious issues may reach agreements that will be less costly and less stressful, and they might even learn new negotiating skills that will help their post-divorce communications.
One of the alternative options is collaborative divorce. This practice is different to an uncontested divorce, and it is not just an out-of-court settlement. It is a distinct legal process for which a trained lawyer is required. Collaborative law requires both parties along with their specially trained attorneys to meet and discuss all the necessary issues. Additional professionals may be present during negotiations, such as financial advisors, child specialists and more.
Once the couple has reached resolutions on all issues, they may file for an uncontested divorce. However, if the spouses are unable to reach full agreements, and the negotiations end without reaching a divorce arrangement, the same attorneys may not continue representing them. If the couple then decides to proceed with litigation, they will each have to retain new legal counsel.
When Illinois couples have successfully completed negotiations in collaboration, there is typically no need for them to appear in court. The attorneys will draw up the final divorce agreement according to the applicable legal requirements and present it to the court. Collaborative divorce often leaves divorcing couples feeling empowered after making significant decisions that will affect their own lives and the futures of their children, rather than leaving it to a judge.
Source: marriage.com, “Collaborative Divorce as an Alternative to Litigation“, Accessed on Nov. 19, 2016