With divorce rates on the rise, courts are looking for methods to streamline the system so that they do not get further backed up. One way they are achieving this is through programs like collaborative divorce. Not only is this a way to help free up the courts, it is also a way to make your divorce less adversarial for couples who are willing to work together. With collaborative divorce, Illinois divorce attorneys are helping clients resolve their outstanding issues so they can save legal fees and finalize their divorce sooner.
Both spouses have to agree to engage in the collaborative divorce process. Then, you will both sign a binding agreement, which is known as the Participation Agreement. In this document, both spouses are confirming their willingness to exchange information with each side and work together to resolve outstanding legal issues. This is all done outside of the court system, but the end result is still the same — a final divorce decree.
Who is Collaborative Divorce Right for?
Collaborative divorce is not necessarily ideal for every person and situation, but it does work for a number of our clients. It may be right for you if you are looking to:
- Save time and money;
- Keep a cordial relationship with your soon-to-be-ex, an important factor to consider if you have children together; and
- Finalize your divorce in a fair and equitable manner.
There are some situations in which you should not consider collaborative divorce at all. One of these is when you believe your spouse is hiding and/or liquidating assets to keep them from being distributed in the divorce. Since voluntary disclosure is a key aspect of a successful collaborative divorce, it is not a good option if you suspect deception.
You might think couples who fall under the category of high asset divorces should not consider collaborative divorce because it can be too complex. However, there are many cases in which couples with a significant asset portfolio are more successful with collaborative divorce versus those with fewer assets.
What Happens if You Cannot Reach an Agreement?
For this type of process to be successful, you need to reach an agreement on every topic discussed. If you agree to the property division, alimony, child support, but you are still stuck on one small detail of the Parenting Plan, then you would have to litigate the remaining issues in court. Remember, though, failure to reach an agreement means you have to start all over with filing a petition with the court, and both spouses will need to retain entirely new counsel. You will also be hiring your own experts, which is an added expense for both sides.
Contact an Illinois Collaborative Divorce Attorney
If you need assistance understanding more about whether collaborative divorce is right for you, contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC today to schedule an initial consultation.