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What is a collaborative divorce?

Collaborative law divorces are becoming more and more popular in Illinois. These divorces happen out of court, and they incorporate peaceful problem-solving solutions so that divorcing couples can work together to separate in the most positive fashion possible. The collaborative law process assists couples in resolving property, spousal support and child support disagreements without having to step foot inside a courtroom.

The collaborative law strategy was first developed in the early 90s by attorneys who wanted to help their clients separate in a fair and more straightforward fashion. These days, the collaborative law process has grown into a veritable movement, with collaborative law groups existing all over the nation. There is even an International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. The collaborative process has also been extended beyond divorce disputes and is being used to resolve employment law disputes and business relationship issues.

In order for the collaborative law divorce process to work, both participants must be committed to the resolution of any and all disputes through reasoned and constructive communication. Another part of the process involves an agreement from the attorneys on either side, both of whom agree to withdraw as counsel should either party choose to terminate the collaborative process.

Collaborative law proceedings happens in a neutral location, where both spouses and their attorneys meet to complete the negotiation process. Unlike other types of dispute resolution, there is no third-party mediator who communicates between the two sides. Rather, the spouses and their attorneys are the only ones present. Interestingly, in the vast majority of collaborative law proceedings, spouses succeed at resolving all disputes peacefully without the need to go to court.

Source: FindLaw, "Collaborative Divorce: Overview" Sep. 04, 2014

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