Collaborative Law Attorney in St. Charles, Illinois
What is Collaborative Divorce?
From anger and sadness to worry about the future, divorce evokes strong emotions. Yet, even with emotions running high, most couples agree that they want to minimize the negative impact divorce will have on themselves, their children, and their finances.
Collaborative Divorce, also known as the collaborative law process, is a specially designed legal process that enables the spouses to retain greater control over the outcome by committing to resolving the divorce outside of court. But, of course, there is no "guarantee" that your divorce will be easy or friendly. However, if critical decisions about your divorce can be made together (with the advice and help of family lawyers trained in the collaborative model), in that case, you can achieve an appropriate, confidential outcome that is more creative than what a judge is allowed to do.
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What are the Advantages of Collaborative Divorce?
Increased Privacy and Confidentiality: Collaborative cases are private and confidential, and the outcomes are controlled by the divorcing couple rather than by a judge.
Increased Control. Collaborative Divorce participants do not rely on the courts, judges, or rules of procedure to set deadlines or timelines for the case. Collaborative Divorces set their timelines according to the shared decisions of the spouses.
Reduced Conflict: Although emotions frequently remain strong, the level of overt hostility in a Collaborative Divorce is drastically reduced as a byproduct of the process itself. Everyone involved, including the lawyers, is highly motivated by the shared goals of achieving a mutually agreeable resolution that minimizes additional harm to relationships or the financial estate.
Three of the core principles that serve to reduce the overall level of toxicity and overt hostility during the divorce are as follows:
Spouses expressly agree to treat each other with civility, dignity, and respect despite their disagreements;
Spouses agree to concentrate on identifying and meeting needs rather than arguing over positions; and
Spouses agree to complete and honest disclosure of financial and other information needed to make informed choices.
These Collaborative Divorce principles foster an environment conducive to resolving conflict and finding custom-made solutions that truly fit your needs and your children's needs, whether they are young or adults.
Solution-Focused Problem Solving. Collaborative Divorce participants can, with the help of their professional team, address and resolve the same temporary and permanent issues that family law judges frequently have to decide in traditional divorce litigation, including:
Who will live in the house?
How will parents share time with children?
How will the financial needs of the children be met?
How will bills get paid?
Will either spouse need to pay spousal support?
How will retirement be handled?
Team of Specialists Centered Around You. Collaborative Divorce participants have the opportunity, but not the obligation, to work with jointly hired neutral experts to help them with specific parts of their case.
These experts often bill their time at a lower rate than lawyers working within traditional method of divorce. For example, a neutral mental health professional with Collaborative Divorce training can help the parents identify each parent's interests, goals, and concerns regarding the children and then develop a parenting plan that best meets those interests.
Likewise, a neutral financial professional can efficiently compile, organize, and share all financial information, including assets, liabilities, budgets of income, and expenses, needed to develop potential solutions to the financial issues presented during the divorce. This is an efficient, cost-effective approach to wrapping support around you and your family.
More Efficient and Cost-Effective. Most divorces, even contested ones, are ultimately resolved by agreement. Yet couples still routinely hire litigation attorneys to prepare for a contested final trial that rarely occurs. That is wasteful and inefficient if it can be resolved by agreement. In contrast, every dollar spent by the spouses pursuing a Collaborative Divorce is spent to achieve a mutually-agreeable resolution. For example, with a Collaborative Divorce, only a single valuation expert is needed for a business or house (instead of hiring two opposing experts at twice the cost with a traditional approach).
Creative Solutions. Because participants are not relying solely on the courts for answers, spouses are free to explore many creative solutions to the issues presented in their case. In addition, the Collaborative Divorce team, including the participants themselves, consistently develops options for outcomes during the process that are better for their family than what the law allows in the courtroom.