Just What Is A Collaborative Divorce?

by | Oct 9, 2015 | Law

Recent Articles



If you are searching online for a divorce lawyer in the Northbrook area you may have noticed that some family law specialists indicate they are collaborative lawyers. If this seems like a bit of an oxymoron, you may be right if you think of divorce as an adversarial process.

On the other hand, if you think of divorce as a way to restructure a relationship, and one where Mom and Dad continue to work together to raise their children in a positive and conflict-free environment, then a collaborative divorce may be the perfect match for your needs.

The Basics

Collaborative law is a growing field of law that sees relationship issues, such as a divorce, as a way to work together to create a divorce that works for the family. It respects the choices of the husband and wife to fairly, equitably, and legally address their divorce and settlement options.

It is not meant to replace litigation, or the right to go to court and have a judge make the decision, but it provides a supportive, encouraging and informed way for both spouses, with legal representation, to craft a mutually agreeable divorce settlement.

During the collaborative divorce the parties agree not to start any legal proceedings against each other and to work to negotiate in good faith to try to resolve the issues and develop a negotiated outcome that all parties agree is satisfactory. They also agree not to make any changes that impact the children, their living arrangements or other important aspects of the settlement process during this time.

Beyond the Basis

During the collaborative process, it is not uncommon for the attorneys and the spouses to meet multiple times, and there may even be mediators and counselors involved to help with the process. Each divorce is different, so variations do occur in the process.

As attorneys in the collaborative divorce process, we may also ask to have neutral experts such as financial planners, retirement experts, therapists, child development experts and other people come into the meetings. These experts are brought in to provide expert advice, help, and assistance, not to speak for or against one or the other parties to the divorce.

During the process the attorneys in Northbrook will work to draft agreements, ensure all aspects of the divorce are addressed, and to look for creative, unique and individualized options for the couple to come to a divorce settlement without the need to go to court.

Related Articles