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

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Geneva collaborative divorce attorney

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of divorce? You probably think of a couple who is frustrated, upset, or hostile toward each other, in and out of courtrooms, and fighting over every single little issue. While it is true that some partners can be very stubborn and combative, many spouses are not that adversarial with one another. In fact, the majority of divorces only require one courtroom visit, which is to have a judge finalize and sign your divorce decree. Depending on your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you may be able to benefit from the collaborative divorce process.

What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

In a traditional litigated divorce, each spouse retains his or her own attorney who is present to advocate for his or her best interests. First, the lawyers attempt to conduct negotiations privately, but if there is too much disagreement between the spouses, then the proceedings are taken to court, where a judge determines the outcomes of the matters that need to be resolved, including the division of property and child-related issues such as parenting time.

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Aurora collaborative divorce attorney

For years, there were only two ways you could end a marriage -- by settling the divorce through the use of two different attorneys or by taking the case to court to hash out the issues before a judge. In recent years, the use of alternative dispute resolution has become a more popular form of divorce, rather than the traditional litigated route. There are two main forms of alternative dispute resolution: collaboration and mediation. Both ways of divorcing allow couples to settle divorce issues on their own terms, rather than leaving them to a judge to decide. Many people have a false notion that collaborative divorce and mediation are the same thing, but they are different, and each method has its own unique benefits.

Divorce Mediation

In a mediated divorce, the couple works with a neutral party, called a mediator, who helps them make decisions about their divorce. The mediator does not have to be an attorney, but it should be a person who is trained in mediation and knows divorce and family law. The mediator should be a completely neutral third party to the divorce, and they will not advocate for either spouse. Both spouses may still need to retain their own attorneys to help them understand their rights and legal options throughout the mediation process. An attorney can also go over the divorce settlement and identify any issues that should be addressed prior to finalizing the divorce.

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Illinois divorce attorneyIn today’s world, there is more than one way to do almost everything, including getting a divorce. Historically, most divorces were litigated, meaning they were settled in court by a judge, rather than between the parties themselves. These days, more and more couples are choosing mediation and alternative forms of dispute resolution when it comes to divorces. One such alternative is a collaborative divorce, which brings many benefits to the table, but this type of divorce only applies to some situations. If you are considering a collaborative divorce, here are a few things you should know:

  1. You and Your Spouse Have to Agree to Settle Outside of Court

Before you even begin the divorce process, you, your spouse, and both of your attorneys must agree to settle the divorce in a respectful, honest manner outside of the traditional court system. You will create and sign a document called a Participation Agreement, and this is a legally binding contract. If you fail to settle the divorce through collaboration, you and your spouse will both have to find new counsel and go the traditional litigated route.

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divorce, DuPage County divorce attorney, The Advantages of Collaborative Law, collaborative law, family law, child custodyWhen spouses are considering pursuing a divorce one of the primary considerations that must be made is how much money is it going to cost. From the cost of lawyers themselves to the various professionals that may need to be used in a divorce, the entire process can seem relentlessly expensive. However, there are options to avoid a potentially lengthy and costly divorce. One of those options is choosing collaborative law.

Collaborative law is a type of dispute resolution. It is a decidedly useful tool for spouses considering divorce. Collaborative law includes both spouses through their attorneys to cooperatively develop and acquiesce to the terms of the settlement.

Does Collaborative Law Always Work?

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collaborative law, Kane County divorce attorneyPeople consistently envision the divorce process as an adversarial affair that pits parties against one another, which culminates with the ultimate goal of walking away with more than the other side. Divorces of this type do exist, but every divorce is not destined to be a series of contentious exchanges. Another approach is available that allows couples to maintain civil, working relationships so they have the ability to remain in contact once the divorce is finalized.

Collaborative divorce is an alternative method of navigating the end of a marriage that is conducted in a supportive environment and puts the parties in control of the outcome. Parties wishing to co-parent or retain a family business following divorce could benefit from this resolution process. Understanding that an alternative exists to traditional litigation grants divorcing parties greater freedom in working out conflict, which often leads to more cooperation.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

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

630-409-8184

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

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