The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


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

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What Is Collaborative Divorce and Is it Right for Me?

Posted on in Collaborative Law

collaborative divorce, illinois divorce, dupage county family law attorneyThe term “collaborative divorce” has been popping up more often in recent years, with many more lawyers claiming collaborative divorce as one of their practice areas. What is collaborative divorce? It can mean several different things, but usually it means the two sides work together to find a settlement instead of having a contested divorce and hurling accusations at each other.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

Most of the time a collaborative divorce starts before any paperwork is ever filed with the court. Instead, the lawyer from one side sends a friendly letter explaining that his or her client has chosen to pursue a collaborative divorce where the sides work together to settle all the issues.

If both sides agree, each spouse and their lawyer negotiate a settlement regarding all of the issues in the divorce. Once an agreement is reached, the clients usually sign a contract stating the terms and perhaps even penalties for breaking the agreement. Then the required paperwork is filed with the court. Illinois requires that a judge approve all divorce agreements. However, judges rarely object to anything the parties have worked out.

Is It Right for Me?

Collaborative divorce has many advantages. It is usually cheaper, faster, and less emotionally traumatic for everyone involved. But, it is not right for everyone. If there are issues of domestic violence, addiction, hiding of assets, or controlling behavior, then a collaborative divorce could be dangerous.

Even in a collaborative divorce, lawyers are still only allowed to represent one side. Both sides should each seek the advice of an independent lawyer. Some divorces have complex issues such as complicated property divisions, custody conflicts, and disagreements over support amounts that cannot be worked out between the parties.

It is always possible to file for a divorce and let the legal process play out. But, for many a collaborative divorce is the perfect solution. It allows the couples to move on to the next stage of life without having the baggage of a high-conflict divorce to worry about.

If you have any questions about divorce, custody, support, or any other family law issue, you need the advice of a dedicated and experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-409-8184 today to set up a consultation. The more you know about the process and your rights, the better decisions you will make.

The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


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

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