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Can Collaborative Law Work in a High-Conflict Divorce?

 Posted on April 30,2024 in Collaborative Law

North Aurora, IL collaborative divorce attorneySome divorces are civil and involve compromises between the two parties. But in a high-conflict divorce, civility levels are low and the parties strongly disagree on issues. Sometimes, couples going through a high-conflict divorce skip mediation because they are not willing to even sit down to negotiate on such issues as:

  • Child custody and parenting time

  • How to divide assets

  • Spousal support

Like mediation, collaborative law is also a form of alternative dispute resolution, which is to say that it is a way to resolve a divorce outside of court. There are differences between mediation and collaborative law, however. One major difference is that your attorney will take a much stronger lead in collaborative law.

This article will discuss what collaborative law is and whether it is a good idea to use collaborative law in a high-conflict divorce.

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law is a process in which the spouses’ attorneys work together to achieve a resolution. There are several elements of the collaborative process:

  • Each lawyer represents his or her client’s interests but works toward a resolution on each issue.

  • The lawyers may bring in other experts, such as financial advisors, divorce coaches, child psychologists, and evaluators, all of whom remain neutral parties.

  • The parties sign an agreement that they will not threaten the other side with litigation or a lawsuit.

  • Only if the differences cannot be resolved will the case go to court before a judge.

  • If the collaborative process is unsuccessful, the parties must hire new attorneys.

Another major characteristic of collaboration is that it is based on mutual respect and good faith. It is not a high-conflict process.

Will Collaborative Law Help a High-Conflict Divorce?

On the one hand, collaboration could be a solution to a high-conflict divorce because the attorneys take a much stronger role. Lawyers who are civil and professional can avoid a lot of the pitfalls and barriers that come from communication failures.

On the other hand, collaborative law is designed to be low-conflict. It is a civil, respectful process that aims to find a resolution. If the spouses are committed to fighting, collaboration may not be a good fit.

It comes down to whether you and your spouse disagree on issues because of poor communication, or if you have poor communication because you disagree so strongly. If it is just communication that is stopping you and your spouse from seeing eye-to-eye, then collaborative law may be beneficial.

Contact a North Aurora, IL Collaborative Attorney

The best way to know if collaborative law is right for you is to consult with a Kane County, Illinois collaborative attorney. Matthew Williams is a highly experienced divorce attorney with a special focus on alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and collaborative law. Call The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to discuss your legal needs today.

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1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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