Life can be a rollercoaster, and unfortunately things may not always work out as planned. When we get married we never think, “I am going to get divorced one day”. However, not thinking it doesn’t mean it may not happen. People can grow apart over the years, and many times individuals stay together due to the stress involved in dismantling a marriage; children, finances, emotional tolls, etc.. What if there was a better way?
Collaborative divorce is for the couple that just doesn’t work, but also may not know how to dismantle a marriage effectively or amicably. Just because a marriage doesn’t work doesn’t mean that it needs to be a battle of the wills. What if you both just want to move on, but also realize that if there are children involved you are always going to need to be a family in some capacity? Then collaborative divorce may be for you.
The word collaborative is cliché, and we get that. However, that is what Illinois is calling it, so bear with us with the name and focus on the meaning.
What happens if you want a collaborative divorce? First, you and your spouse contact a firm that has a certified Collaborative Divorce Lawyer. Guess what? We do! Make sure you ask this before engaging a lawyer in the collaborative divorce process! Since it is a law that a firm cannot represent both spouses, we represent one while one of our partner firms represents the other. WHOA, you are thinking, ” I thought this was simple and not litigating or fighting over things”? You’re correct! There will not be any litigation, at least not with this process. Both lawyers, and the spouses, sit together and work through how to dismantle the marriage amicably. It is not about the lawyer’s interests, but rather the family’s interest. If a couple decides to litigate, both spouses must find a new lawyer in a new firm. The lawyers should want to work as a team, and certified lawyers are trained to do so. No family is alike, so each family’s goals will be different.
Amicably…you mean that you can get divorced and not fight? Yes! Now, our collaborative divorce team may work with other professionals to help you work through those tough issues. We are lawyers and not accountants or therapists. We may have to call in some of our experts on our team to help successfully work through the issues of divorce. Our hope is that sitting down and coming up with a plan together means that the healing process can begin sooner. After the lawyers are out of the picture you are still going to need to be some type of a family unit, especially if there are children involved. You didn’t work out. That’s okay. We are not here to judge you, but rather help both you and your partner get to a healthy place once again.
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**This blog does not represent personal legal advice. Consultations with our legal team are required for individual legal advice**