Several options exist for litigation alternatives in a pending divorce. Depending on your circumstances, your Oak Brook divorce attorney might suggest that you opt for a collaborative divorce. Since the Illinois Collaborative Process Act took effect in 2018, more couples are turning to this option. Many couples are drawn to this option for divorce because it can cost less, take less time, achieve better results for both partners, and keep each spouse in control instead of a judge who does not know them. Before considering this option, it’s essential to understand precisely what it is and how the process will work for you.
In a traditional Illinois divorce, one spouse files a petition for divorce, known as dissolution of marriage. This initiates a series of legal steps that will eventually end in a resolution with court involvement. In this type of situation, spouses often view each other as adversaries or divorce as a competition or battleground. This can make the process much harder on everyone involved, especially the children.
On the other hand, a collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial process. Both spouses and their respective Oak Brook divorce lawyer agrees not to go to court. Negotiations are done in good faith to reach a settlement that each party agrees upon. Collaborative divorces are beneficial as they give the couple more power to determine their outcomes as opposed to a judge controlling what happens. It also decreases the emotional strain that results from the broken relationship and helps protect the well-being of any children involved.
The collaborative divorce process uses interest-based negotiations. Each spouse is given tools to increase their ability to communicate during the process as well as going forward in their post-divorce relationship. Instead of emphasizing positions, principles take priority in this type of divorce process. The needs and wants of the divorcing couple are the most crucial factor in this method of divorce instead of trying to predict what the court will ultimately do. The focus is on mutual gains instead of bottom-line positions.
Both spouses and their respective Oak Brook divorce attorneys will participate in what is known as interest-based or value-based discussions. In an ideal collaborative divorce, both parties will spend less on the divorce than if they pursued a traditional divorce. When they reach an agreement, it will need court approval. The judge will ensure that it is not grossly unfair and that it supports the best interests of the children. Once the court approves the agreement, the divorce will be finalized.
If by chance, agreements cannot be reached, the lawyers for each spouse will withdraw from the matter. Each spouse will be required to hire new legal counsel, and their divorce will proceed through the court system in the traditional manner.
At the Goodman Law Firm LLC, we have helped many spouses achieve success through a collaborative divorce. We look forward to helping you through this process, as well. To learn more about the collaborative divorce process, contact us today to book a consultation with an experienced Oak Brook divorce attorney.
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