Divorce does not have to be the complicated, messy, cutthroat process you have seen portrayed on TV or heard about from friends. Lawmakers in Illinois passed the Illinois Collaborative Process Act in 2017, setting standards for a different kind of divorce. This collaborative process takes place outside the courtroom.
How the collaborative divorce works
The process is described in the Barrington Courier-Review as one in which attorneys specializing in collaborative law are hired only to settle the case. Specialists are used for each portion of the agreement – finance, mental health and/ or a child specialist, as needed.
The professionals work together with the divorcing couple, supporting the family and helping them come to amicable agreements. Each party can move forward in the best possible way. The divorcing couple is coming to these agreements together and setting the stage for a better future.
Who is a candidate for collaborative divorce?
Representatives at the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois say those who want to maintain a long-term healthy relationship with a divorced spouse should use this option.
A couple who values improving their relationship post-divorce can benefit greatly from the collaborative law approach. Guided by a professional, divorcing couples are able to work collaboratively to come up with a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children. For many couples, this is a win-win solution.
When is collaborative divorce not a good option?
A collaborative divorce is not about laying blame and playing the victim card. If one of the parties is lying about finances, hiding important details and sabotaging the relationship with the children, this approach may not be for them.
Which approach is best for you? Seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in family law and handles both types of divorce. Research your options and know that the support you need is out there.