Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Could collaborative divorce save you from a courtroom battle?

You may have friends or family who were able to work out their divorce issues on their own, but you aren't so sure that will work in your case. In fact, the one thing you and your future ex-spouse may readily agree on is that you have disagreements that you can't resolve on your own, and you may fear that your only option is to go to court.

Fortunately, that may not be the case. You may not see a way to come to an agreement on your own, but you may be able to reach one with some help. This is where collaborative divorce could save you from a traditional, adversarial divorce.

Collaborative divorce? What's that?

This alternative to a courtroom divorce has some similarities to mediation, such as the following:

  • The setting is informal.
  • It could save you time and money.
  • You negotiate a resolution that works best for you and your family.
  • You exchange information in an honest, open and free manner.
  • You decide how you will resolve any disputes that arise post-divorce.

This is where the similarities end. In collaborative divorce, a mediator is only brought in if you are unable to continue without conflict. Otherwise, the negotiations take place with you, your future ex-spouse and each of your attorneys. You may also bring in others as needed such as counselors, appraisers and financial advisors to help you make the best decisions possible. The more information you have regarding an issue, the more likely you will make a choice that will serve you well into the future.

Before beginning the process, everyone signs an agreement to see the process through, including your attorneys. The option of going to court is taken off the table for your respective attorneys. If you cannot reach an agreement, you each must find new attorneys before proceeding to court.

How to begin

If you both agree and everyone signs the agreement, you will need to meet with your attorney prior to entering into negotiations. This is the time to determine what you want to get out of the process. You will more than likely need to make compromises, which means that you will also need to identify those issues on which you are unwilling to bend.

If you want something, you may have to give up something else to get it. Knowing this ahead of time could make the negotiations go more smoothly. Ultimately, the goal is to end up with an agreement with which you can both move forward into the future and be satisfied.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Toll Free: 866-921-8767
Phone: 618-207-3458
Fax: 618-234-8028
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    • ABA - American Bar Association
    • Illinois State Bar Association
    • County of St. Clair - State of Illinois
    • IACP | International Academy Of Collaborative Professionals