Not every couple who goes through a divorce wants to get divorced in court. Many couples decide to opt to start their divorces in a process known as a collaborative divorce. The goal of going through the collaborative law process is to settle disputes without going to court, and the process is supposed to focus on the needs and interest of the parties. This process may appeal to couples who want to keep their divorce low conflict, especially if they have children and will continue to co-parent after a divorce.
If a couple is considering using the collaborative process, it is best to use attorneys who are trained in the process and can advise and guide the couple through the process more effectively. As part of the collaborative process, the people getting divorced are individually required to sign a participation agreement.
Under the Illinois Collaborative Process Act, as part of the agreement, the parties are required to identify the attorneys they have chosen to use for the process and agree to dismiss the attorneys if the collaborative process fails. If this happens, the parties have to retain new counsel in order to proceed with the divorce through litigation in court.
Collaborative law in the context of a divorce may also involve the use of a group of professionals in various fields who assist the couple with various issues that may arise in the course of finalizing the divorce. These professionals include child specialist, financial specialists, and divorce coaches. Some of the issues the professionals assist with include parenting responsibility and time-sharing, and the financial aspect of equitably distributing the marital assets.
A divorce that is worked out through the collaborative process is just as valid as one that is litigated in court. A judge enters a final order dissolving the marriage in each case. One of the key difference is that the resolution of most of the issues is per the agreement of the parties and not a result of the judge making a decision based on the arguments of the parties.
The collaborative process is completely voluntary and a judge cannot order the parties to go through the collaborative process if they do not want to do so. Along the same lines, one spouse cannot force another to go through the process. Both spouses are allowed to discontinue the process and go through litigation if they are unsatisfied with the collaborative law process.
A collaborative divorce is not for everyone, and in some cases, the best interests of the parties may be to go through litigation. If you are interested in the collaborative process, it is important to seek out a practitioner who can guide you through the process.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you are considering separating or filing for a divorce, contact the experienced Naperville divorce attorneysat the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC for a consultation on the divorce process and the legal options available to you in terms of moving forward.