In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse along with your respective divorce lawyers will work together to hammer out a mutually acceptable settlement of all of the issues related to the termination of your marriage. To start, you and your spouse will sign an agreement that you will not resort to litigation in court. Then, with the guidance of your attorneys, you will problem solve and negotiate your issues, such as child custody and parenting plans, the distribution of your mutual property and debts, spousal support, and whatever else you need to handle.
In a collaborative divorce, you can also bring in other professionals, such as financial experts, real estate and other appraisers, child psychologists, and more to help clarify issues. You and your spouse will share the costs of hiring these experts. Despite these costs, it will likely cost you much less than the expenses involved in a litigated divorce. Furthermore, it will take less time, be more efficient, allow you and your spouse to remain in control of these important decisions, be a private instead of a public matter, and be less dramatic and stressful on the entire family.
Can You Do It?
The first question you need to ask yourself concerning whether or not to choose a collaborative divorce is can you commit to working with and negotiating with your spouse directly? That direct negotiation forms the foundation of the process. If you can’t stand to be in the same room with your spouse, if you harbor feelings of resentment, spite, or revenge or if you are intimidated or afraid of him or her, then the process likely has little chance of success. You must be willing and able to set aside the destructive emotions that you may have.
A good candidate for the collaborative divorce process is someone who can overcome their emotional challenges, biases, and beliefs to be able to negotiate. Often, and in most cases, he or she must be willing to compromise for the good of the entire family. A good candidate will want to terminate the marriage on as amicable a note as possible. This is especially true when children are involved and you will have to work with your spouse regarding them in the future. The desire to protect your children from the destructive drama and conflict of a divorce can be a good motivation for the collaborative process. Other desires that make one a good candidate are wanting to limit legal expenses, shorten the process instead of dragging it out, and maintain control over the process.
It is important to weigh the factors involved in deciding if you are a good candidate for the collaborative process or not. If you engage in the process and are not able to really commit to all that is needed for success, the process probably won’t work. You will then have to bail on it and will have to start all over again with the litigation process. You will have to hire new lawyers because that is part of the initial agreement to start collaboration. This means you will have wasted the time, effort, and money spent on the failed collaboration.
Work with a Respected Attorney at the Law offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C.
If you believe you and your spouse are good candidates for a collaborative divorce in Chicago, you can turn to the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. for representation. Our firm practices family law exclusively. We are proud of the successful track record we have created in helping individuals and families all across the area. Our competency and service level have resulted in many awards and accolades such as a 10.0 top rating from Avvo and listing in Super Lawyers. No matter what your family law issue may be or how complicated it may seem, we have the knowledge, skills, and resources to help.
We are available at (312) 487-2795. Call us today to schedule a consultation.