Experienced Guidance Through A Collaborative Divorce
Although collaborative law is an effective alternative dispute resolution procedure, many people who might benefit from this approach to divorce are not sure what it involves and how it differs from other approaches, such as informal negotiation, mediation and traditional litigation.
The collaborative law process has been carefully designed to give everyone involved an incentive to work together toward solutions that benefit both parties. The following is an explanation of the four major steps in the collaborative divorce process in Illinois:
- Participation agreement: The first step in the collaborative divorce process is the signing of a participation agreement between both parties and both lawyers. In this agreement, everyone agrees to work together in good faith toward a collaborative outcome, and the attorneys agree to be disqualified from the case if it goes into litigation.
- Collaborative conferences: In a collaborative divorce, financial and child-related issues are addressed in a series of conferences involving the parties and their lawyers. Financial experts, divorce coaches, mental health professionals and other experts also trained in collaboration can be brought in to assist the process if both parties agree that their help is needed.
- Document preparation: Once all the relevant issues have been resolved, the attorneys prepare the necessary divorce settlement documents. Both parties have an opportunity to review these documents with their lawyers’ help before signing them.
- Filing of the divorce case: Only after the settlement process is complete and the documents have been signed do the parties move forward with filing their divorce case. A “prove-up” hearing is scheduled with a judge, who can be expected to approve the agreements made by the parties.
Unlike a mediator, a collaborative lawyer represents their client’s individual interests and can give legal advice. If you retain any of us as your collaborative law attorney, we will carefully guide you through the collaborative law process and diligently protect your rights and interests at every stage.
Contact A Trained And Experienced Illinois Collaborative Law Fellow Today
Alexandra M. Goddard, Jessica L. Malmquist and Alison G. Turoff are collaborative fellows and experienced collaborative law and divorce lawyers. To learn more about the collaborative law process, please contact Greenwich Law Group, LLC at 847-382-3995 or by email to schedule a consultation. We represent clients throughout greater Chicago from offices in Chicago and Barrington.