Couples are frequently using alternative methods to settle divorce disputes in a positive and cooperative manner. Collaborative divorce law involves different forms of dispute resolution, and parties agree to make decisions based on mutual needs. Most discussions occur at joint sessions, where spouses and Barrington Illinois family law attorneys discuss matters like property division and child custody. When they arrive at an agreement, the couple submits it to a judge pending approval. Once the agreement is approved, it's legally binding and can be enforced.
Parts of a Collaborative Agreement
Collaborative participation agreements are contracts determining how parties behave during joint conferences. Laws vary, but most agreements contain these provisions:
- Parties will make a good-faith effort to negotiate an agreement while staying out of court
- Parties must fully disclose documents and information needed to reach an agreement
- If an expert's opinion is required, the parties must agree on the expert's selection
- If litigation is needed, each party's attorneys must withdraw, being replaced with another family law attorney in Crystal Lake Illinois
Collaborative agreements can outline which matters must be dealt with, and they can be adjusted to meet each party's needs.
If Parties Cannot Agree During Collaboration
If divorcing spouses cannot come to an agreement, they can pursue court litigation. Although they must make a good-faith effort to avoid court, agreements don't prevent parties from stopping the process and litigating the case. However, they must notify the other party and their Arlington Heights divorce lawyer in writing.
Pros and Cons of Collaborative Divorce
Some benefits of collaborative law include: the cooperative process, lower cost, and the decrease in stress for both parties. A collaborative divorce attorney in Illinois can encourage a better long-term relationship between ex-spouses, but it can become expensive if an agreement can't be reached. Collaborative divorce cannot be used in all cases, especially those involving child abuse or domestic violence.
Hiring an Attorney for a Collaborative Divorce
One may wish to call a divorce attorney if they are contemplating using collaborative methods. An attorney can represent parties during joint meetings, and they can help clients form an agreement that suits their needs. If efforts are unsuccessful, they will need to hire a different Crystal Lake high net worth divorce lawyer to take the case to court.