An Explanation from the Family Law Attorneys at Crosby & Crosby Law

Many are perhaps not familiar with the term “collaborative divorce,” so we should begin by providing a brief explanation. After all, what is a collaborative law divorce?

Briefly summarized, collaborative divorce is a relatively new way of ending a marriage in an amicable way that avoids courtroom litigation. You might think of collaborative divorce as a combination of divorce mediation and a traditional divorce, with attorneys representing both parties in the marriage.

In the proceedings, collaborative law attorneys work to manage conflict, not create conflict, the ultimate goal being to arrive at a win-win solution that meets the needs of both parties while avoiding expensive litigation.

How the Process Works

For the collaborative divorce process to work, both parties must be cooperative and open to compromise. If either is unwilling to negotiate and compromise, the attempt will be futile and will fail.

The first step in a collaborative divorce is for both parties and their attorneys to sign a “participation agreement.” This document basically states that if an amicable settlement cannot be reached, the attorneys representing both parties must withdraw from the case. At that point, the parties must secure new legal representation before proceeding with litigation.

At the beginning of the collaborative divorce process, each party meets with their attorney to discuss what they hope to achieve.

These initial meetings are followed by joint meetings of the two parties and their attorneys, and other professionals experienced in dispute resolution may be brought into the process. These might include, for example:

Any outside experts that are brought into the proceedings must be neutral and committed to settling the divorce without going to court.

Once agreement has been reached on the issues involved in the divorce, what remains is relatively painless. Since the terms have been agreed on by both parties and their attorneys, the divorce is uncontested, and there is no need to go to trial.

Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce

There are a number of benefits in ending a marriage through a collaborative divorce. These include:

  • It’s confidential – Everything is settled through private negotiations without any courtroom proceedings.

  • It’s family and child centered – Through private negotiations, both parties to the marriage are able to arrive at agreements that enable them to pursue both their individual and mutual goals. These agreements help everyone involved move forward in a positive way rather than focusing on the grievances of the past.

  • It’s convenient – The contesting parties meet together on a schedule of their choosing rather than having to appear for court proceedings that may interrupt their own schedules and private lives.

  • It’s cost conscious – Working with their attorneys and neutral third parties, a couple can arrive at a mutually satisfactory settlement and avoid the expense of courtroom litigation.

  • It’s out of court – Perhaps most importantly, there is no painful courtroom battle, and no decisions handed down by a judge unfamiliar with a family’s unique circumstances and interests. Instead, with the assistance of their attorneys, a couple arrives at a settlement intended to provide a positive outcome for each party and for the family.

Collaborative Divorce with Assistance from Family Law Attorneys

Collaborative Divorce with Assistance from the Attorneys at Crosby & Crosby

At the firm of Crosby & Crosby Law, our Family Law attorneys have extensive knowledge of divorce procedures and options in Illinois, including collaborative divorce.

If your marriage is ending, and you think you could arrive at a mutually satisfactory settlement through a collaborative divorce, we would be happy to meet with you to discuss your situation and provide legal advice.

Your initial consultation is free, and we urge you to contact the firm of Crosby & Crosby today.