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Deciding Whether a Collaborative Divorce is Right for You

By Nottage and Ward on February 24, 2011

While the economy is still very uncertain, with reports of unemployment and a double-dip recession common, many facing divorce in Illinois may wonder if ending their marriage will result in bankruptcy. However, there are other options available instead of divorce litigation, including the Illinois collaborative law process or divorce mediation.

To decide whether the collaborative law process is right for your situation, there are a few factors to contemplate. The Huffington Post recommends that a couple facing divorce take the following into consideration:

  1. In divorce litigation, both parties can spend thousands of dollars prepping for a contested trial that often does not occur. This is because many litigated divorce cases settle before trial begins. However, in collaborative law cases, every dollar that is spent is devoted to reaching the goal of settlement, with nothing spent preparing for a trial.
  2. During the collaborative process, both parties freely exchange divorce-relevant documents. It is an informal and inexpensive process, in contrast to divorce litigation, where oftentimes time and money is wasted by both parties fighting over what documents will or will not be given to the other side to attempt to “beat” the other party at trial.
  3. In collaborative divorce cases in Illinois, expert witnesses are jointly hired and engaged to value and trace assets, make recommendations regarding child custody arrangements, and more. They serve neutrally, unlike in divorce litigation, where competing expert witnesses are often brought in.
  4. During the collaborative process, both parties are given much more control over the process and the outcome. This is in contrast to divorce litigation where the decision is reached by a judge.

If both parties are able and willing to work together to resolve problems, an Illinois collaborative divorce can allow them to reach the divorce terms they want as an alternative to courtroom confrontation. However, every situation is different, and in many cases, divorce litigation is the route that must be taken.

When deciding whether to go through the collaborative process, it is essential to take the right legal advice. The decisions reached during a divorce can have an effect on the rest of a person’s life, which makes the advice from a knowledgeable Illinois family law attorney crucial during the process. Contact the lawyers at Nottage and Ward to learn if our skills are a right match for you.

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