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What is a Collaborative Divorce and the Collabortative Process?

Many people hear the phrase "collaborative divorce" and they may question what this even means. "Aren't all divorces, on some level, collaborative?," they argue. But this argument just skims the surface. Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are a couple of alternative dispute resolution methods that divorcing couples can employ to help them get through the divorce in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner.

Divorce mediation is when a divorcing couple meets with a third-party, a mediator or a mediation service, to help them figure out their divorce. Collaborative divorce is a little different, while trying to achieve the same goal. In a collaborative divorce, the splitting spouses retain their own lawyers, but the lawyers work together with a team of other professionals -- such as therapists and counselors -- to figure out your divorce.

Attorney assisted mediation and Collaborative Divorce can be beneficial options for couples who are looking to work through their dissolution in a more client driven, private, and cooperative fashion than the traditional route of going to court and participating in a litigated dissolution. That said, a Collaborative Divorce isn't necessarily for everyone. Collaborative Divorce isn't a cure-all for your marital and life woes and, depending on the circumstances of your divorce, and the parties' willingness to commit to the Collaborative process, a Collaborative Divorce may not fit with your situation. If you and your spouse are committed to working together through the dissolution of your marriage, using Collaborative professionals, then you may be a perfect candidate for a Collaborative Divorce.

Those who seek out a Collaborative Divorce should discuss their personal goals, privacy, and family needs with their lawyer prior to determining if the Collaborative process will work for your family.

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Goddard & Malmquist

Goddard & Malmquist
1250 South Grove Avenue
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Barrington, IL 60010

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