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What is Included in a Participation Agreement?

Posted on in Divorce

Kendall County Divorce LawyerMost divorcing spouses dread the thought of a high-conflict, public divorce trial. However, it can be extremely hard for divorcing couples to reach an agreement regarding asset division, debt division, child custody, spousal support, and other matters. Collaborative divorce is a divorce resolution method that allows couples to avoid a stressful and costly divorce trial while still benefiting from legal representation and support from their respective attorneys.

The foundation of a successful collaborative divorce is the participation agreement or collaborative agreement. Read on to learn about how participation agreements are used in Illinois collaborative divorce cases.

Using Collaborative Law to Resolve Divorce Disputes

When divorcing spouses disagree about one or more of the divorce terms, they have a few different options. In Illinois, spouses have the option to use collaborative law to resolve the divorce. During a collaborative divorce, the spouses each have their own attorney who represents their best interests and advocates on their behalf. However, the spouses and their attorneys work together to find creative solutions to the disputed divorce issues.

The Participation Agreement in a Collaborative Divorce

At the heart of any collaborative divorce is the participation agreement. This agreement describes the rights and responsibilities of the parties, including the spouses, the attorneys, and any third-party participants such as financial professionals, divorce coaches, or child specialists.

Each case is different, but participation agreements usually include the following provisions:

  • The parties will resolve the disputed divorce issues through agreement. Neither spouse or his or her lawyers will seek a divorce trial through the court. If a spouse does seek court intervention, both spouses’ attorneys must withdraw from the case. The spouses must retain new lawyers if they want to proceed with litigation.

  • The parties will freely provide all of the information needed to resolve the divorce. Spouses in a collaborative divorce are expected to provide financial documents and other information without restrictions. This allows the parties to have honest, frank conversations about the disputed issues.

  • The parties will negotiate in good faith. Both spouses and their attorneys will commit to integrity and transparency.

  • The parties will keep any information disclosed during the collaborative process confidential.

  • The parties will maintain a respectful, professional tone. Collaborative divorce is not about making accusations or “winning” the divorce case. Instead, collaborative divorce participants discuss divorce issues with the intent to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Contact a Kane County Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced and you are interested in pursuing a collaborative divorce, contact the The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C..  Call our Aurora divorce attorney at 630-409-8184 for a confidential consultation.



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


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

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