A divorce in Chicago does not have to be a contentious fight. If you and your partner are generally amicable and willing to cooperate, then collaborative law may be the right method to help you navigate and finalize your divorce.
Collaborative law is an innovative method that allows the partners to resolve disputes with minimal court involvement. It is a faster and more cost-effective approach to divorce. Collaborative law is not to be confused with divorce mediation, which we explain further down on this page.
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., we offer our services as collaborative law attorneys in Chicago. This means we can serve as your advising counsel during your divorce as you navigate the collaborative law process.
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If you wish to approach your divorce with collaborative law, then each partner must retain their own collaborative attorneys who are trained in the process. These attorneys must agree – in writing – to help the couple reach a fair and favorable settlement outside of the courtroom. Each partner meets privately with their own Chicago collaborative law attorney to discuss their case and their goals moving forward.
You may also bring in other experts such as:
- Divorce coaches
- Child specialists
- Financial advisors
In the event that the parties are unable to reach an agreement and one or both of the parties elect to take the matter to court, the attorneys and “team members” are disqualified from representing either party or otherwise participating in the adversarial proceedings. This incentivizes the parties and the attorneys to cooperate and problem-solve, reduces the likelihood of excess conflict, and enables the parties to efficiently resolve their disputes.
Collaborative Law vs. Mediation
If you are facing a divorce, then you may have heard of or explored mediation. Collaborative law and mediation are two entirely different approaches to dispute resolution.
In mediation, a neutral third party helps the parties negotiate the various facets of their divorce to reach a settlement they both agree on. The mediator, however, cannot provide any form of legal advice or advocate on either partner’s behalf. This is the primary difference between collaborative law and mediation because, in collaborative law, each partner gets their own collaborative divorce lawyer who can provide legal advice. Additionally, mediators cannot draft the final divorce agreement, whereas a collaborative law attorney can.
At our firm, Attorney Melissa V. Caballero is a top-notch litigator and is specially trained and certified in collaborative law. She is committed to helping clients solve their problems in a constructive and cooperative manner.
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