Greater Chicago Area Attorneys Assisting With The Collaborative Divorce Process

Although Collaborative law is a relatively new alternative dispute resolution procedure, many people who might benefit from this approach to divorce are not sure what it involves and how it differs from other approaches such as informal negotiation, mediation and traditional litigation.

The Collaborative law process has been carefully designed to give everyone involved an incentive to work together toward solutions that benefit both parties. The following is an explanation of the four major steps in the collaborative divorce process in Illinois:

  • Participation Agreement: The first step in the Collaborative divorce process is the signing of a Participation Agreement between both parties and both lawyers. In this Agreement, everyone agrees to work together in good faith toward a collaborative outcome, and the attorneys agree to be disqualified from the case if it goes into litigation.
  • Collaborative conferences: In a Collaborative divorce, financial and child-related issues are addressed in a series of conferences involving the parties and their lawyers. Collaboratively trained financial experts, divorce coaches, mental health professionals and other experts can be brought in to assist the process if both parties agree that their help is needed.
  • Document preparation: Once all of the relevant issues have been resolved, the attorneys prepare the necessary divorce settlement documents. Both parties have an opportunity to review these documents with their lawyers' help before signing them.
  • Filing of the divorce case: Only after the rest of the process is complete do the parties move forward with filing their divorce case. A "prove-up" hearing is scheduled with a judge, who can be expected to approve the agreements made by the parties.

Unlike a mediator, a Collaborative lawyer represents his or her client's individual interests and can give legal advice. If you retain either of us as your Collaborative law attorney, we will carefully guide you through the Collaborative law process and diligently protect your rights and your interests at every stage.

Contact A Trained And Experienced Illinois Collaborative Law Fellow Today

Alexandra Goddard and Jessica Malmquist are Collaborative fellows and experienced collaborative law and divorce lawyers. To learn more about the collaborative law process, please contact the firm, Goddard & Malmquist, at 847-382-3995 or by email to schedule a consultation.