For some individuals, the idea of an embattled divorce proceeding is an unthinkable prospect. Not only does such a legal battle place enormous emotional stress on all parties, but it can also drag out the process for months or even years, racking up even more financial losses in court fees, attorney fees, and any other fees needed for professional services related to the process. For these individuals, such a legal battle may be seen as wasteful, frustrating, and draining and does not bode well for any kind of after-divorce relationship, such as sharing parental responsibilities, for example.
For couples who wish to problem-solve their way to a mutually-agreeable divorce settlement of all the issues, collaborative divorce offers a better resolution system. Divorce issues such as how to divide marital property and debt, how to arrange for child custody and visitation, determining child support, spousal support, and any other divorce-related matter can be complicated already without the added burden of runaway emotional turmoil. A collaborative divorce offers many benefits even beyond mediation that can ease the path towards divorce resolution.
Want to explore the matter of a collaborative divorce in Chicago? Call the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. at (312) 487-2795 to schedule a confidential, introductory 20-minute consultation.
How a Collaborative Divorce Works
Collaborative divorce differs from mediation in that each party has his or her own separate collaborative divorce attorney to provide legal advice as they move through the issues. Sessions in a collaborative divorce can be four-way among both parties and their respective lawyers as well as separately in two-way discussions between lawyer and client. In mediation, the mediator acts as a neutral third party who does not give advice to nor advocate for either side. The mediator is trained in fostering positive communication between the parties as well as having them take a problem-solving approach. A mediator cannot draft settlements for approval by the court; a collaborative divorce lawyer can.
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse along with your lawyers engage in a dispute resolution process that is based on cooperation and negotiation outside the court. The process is based on resolving things without litigation although each side has the option to end collaboration and go to court if necessary. Should that occur, each party must move forward into litigation by ending their client relationship with their collaborative lawyers; they must find new representation elsewhere.
In a collaborative divorce, full disclosure between parties is paramount. A comprehensive statement is created and used that streamlines the process. Once again, this is based on honesty and transparency on both sides to ensure that the agreements worked out are fair and legal.
The benefits of a collaborative divorce include:
- It maintains privacy because the procedure is not held in a public forum such as the courtroom
- It puts you and your spouse in control of the decisions as opposed to a judge
- It is faster because of the lack of need to repeatedly appear in court on courtroom schedules
- It is more cost-effective due to the lack of litigation
- It is less stressful, less frustrating, and easier emotionally for both parties and for any children who may be involved
- It creates a better post-divorce relationship for you and your spouse due to the communication and problem-solving in which you have engaged
Want to Get Started on Your Collaborative Divorce?
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., our legal team has the collaborative law experience you need to use this gentler, more amicable path through divorce. We have seen first-hand the positive results of such an approach and welcome the opportunity to represent you on the journey towards a mutually-agreed upon divorce settlement.
Reach out to a collaborative divorce lawyer at our firm at (312) 487-2795. We serve clients throughout the greater Chicago area.