Frequently Asked Questions About Collaborative Divorce in Illinois

Posted on in Collaborative Law

Hoffman Estates family law attorney for collaborative divorceIf you are considering divorce, you have likely imagined lengthy legal battles and contentious disputes with your ex-spouse during the process. However, divorce does not have to be this way. Collaborative law is a very effective alternative to litigation in court when trying to finalize the terms of a divorce. Collaborative divorce functions as a middle ground between mediation, in which both parties are very amicable and cooperative, and litigation, where things can become fairly hostile as disputes are argued in court in front of a judge. 

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

During a collaborative divorce, both sides will work together with their respective attorneys to try to resolve all outstanding disputes or legal issues, such as custody of children or division of marital property. In a collaborative divorce, the attorneys for both sides attempt to come to an agreement that is satisfactory for all involved, unlike litigation, in which one side typically wins and one loses. Collaborative divorce places the needs of the couple, and the entire family, front and center. By working together to reach a settlement, a couple can eliminate uncertainty over what a judge will decide, and both parties will have much more control over the outcome. 

How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost?

There is no single answer to the question of how much any divorce will cost, whether litigation, mediation or collaborative law is used to resolve disputes. However, collaborative law is often much more affordable than litigation. In a collaborative divorce, experts do not need to testify in court, you will not need to attend multiple court hearings, and you can avoid paying filing fees for petitions or subpoenas. Ultimately, the cost of a collaborative divorce will depend on how long it takes for you and your spouse to come to an agreement on the outstanding issues. Generally speaking though, a collaborative divorce is less costly than litigation. 

Can My Spouse and I Use the Same Attorney?

Although the collaborative process is often much friendlier, more respectful and less combative than litigation, both spouses are required to have their own individual attorneys. During a collaborative divorce, your attorney will ensure that you understand your rights and represent your best interests, working to help you reach a fair settlement. One attorney cannot represent both sides without creating a conflict of interest. In addition, if the collaborative process fails, requiring spouses to resolve issues through litigation, the attorneys will be required to withdraw from the case, and the parties will need to find new attorneys to represent them in court. 

What Are the Risks of Hiring an Attorney Who Is Not a Member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois?

All collaborative law attorneys are family law attorneys, but not all family attorneys are well-versed in the area of collaborative law. In order to practice collaborative law, an attorney must receive training in skills such as guiding negotiations and managing conflict. Members of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois have this formal training and abide by specific standards of practice. 

If you do not work with a member of the Institute, your case may not be considered a collaborative divorce. If the collaborative process is not completed successfully, litigation may still be required to resolve the outstanding legal issues. For this reason, anyone considering a collaborative divorce should only consider an attorney that has received the proper training. 

Contact a Barrington Collaborative Law Attorney for Help with Your Divorce

If you want a divorce that can be settled more quickly, peacefully, and efficiently, call skilled Inverness collaborative divorce lawyer Nicholas W. Richardson today at 847.873.6741. Attorney Richardson is a member of the Collaborative Law Institute, and he knows how to guide your collaborative divorce proceedings to help you reach a successful resolution. Reach out today for your free consultation. 

Resources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000

 

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