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What is a collaborative divorce in Illinois?

Many people practice alternative dispute resolution when trying to solve a family matter. If you are hoping to avoid litigation in Illinois, you may opt for a collaborative divorce. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, collaborative law is a new method and has become popular among couples wishing to work together in a respectful and honest manner.

In order to go through the process, each spouse must have an attorney who has been trained in collaborative law. Then, each party will sign a participation agreement that commits them to abiding by collaborative practices. There may be an entire team of professionals who will work with the couple over a series of meetings to settle the divorce. That team could include the following: 

  •        Financial specialists
  •        Divorce coaches
  •        Parenting specialists

Each of these team members can help the couple go through the various parts of a divorce, such as child custody, property division and the emotional aspects of the process 

The goal of the process is to reach a settlement without having to go to court. For that reason, a successful collaborative experience often saves a couple time and money. However, as an article in Family Circle magazine points out, using this method for divorce is often only useful when couples have a deep sense of trust, respect for each other and a commitment to the outcome.

Going to court may not be the best option for you, especially if you are trying to keep costs low. A collaborative process can often bring about quicker results and a customized solution that best suits a couple’s interests.  

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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