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Illinois Law Officially Recognizes Collaborative Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

collaborative law, collaborative divorce, Wheaton collaborative law attorney, alternative dispute resolution,  divorce settlementThe beginning of a new year typically sees the implementation of a variety of new state laws in Illinois, and this year is no exception. Among the laws that went into effect on January 1, 2018 is the Collaborative Process Act, which formally recognizes collaborative law as a legal procedure for resolving family law disputes. Couples who wish to reach an amicable settlement in their divorce may want to consider this method of alternative dispute resolution.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Divorcing spouses must settle a variety of legal issues before their divorce can be finalized, including determining how to divide marital property, allocating parenting time and parental responsibility, calculating the correct amount of child support obligations, and determining whether one spouse will pay maintenance to the other. Resolving these issues in court through litigation can be incredibly expensive, time consuming, and stressful. Collaborative divorce provides couples with the option to work together with their attorneys to resolve disputes on their own.

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse will hire an attorney, and the spouses will sign an agreement that states their intentions to resolve outstanding issues through the collaborative process, describes the issues which must be resolved, identifies their respective attorneys, and states that they will discharge their attorneys if the process fails. As the spouses work to reach a settlement, they will voluntarily disclose any requested information with each other and, if necessary, they can hire additional specialists such as financial appraisers or mental health professionals.

During collaborative divorce, communication between spouses is confidential and inadmissible as evidence in court, unless the spouses agree otherwise or the communication consists of a threat of bodily harm or involves a plan to commit a crime. The collaborative process can be terminated by either spouse at any time for any reason.

When the spouses have reached an agreement on the outstanding issues in their divorce, they will sign a statement that they have reached a resolution and submit their agreement to the court. After the agreement has been accepted, it will become their final divorce decree. If spouses are only able to resolve some issues, they can submit a partial agreement and identify the remaining issues which need to be resolved using other methods.

Contact a DuPage County Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Collaborative divorce can be a great solution for spouses who are able to work together to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to their legal issues. If you want to know more about collaborative law or other methods of alternative dispute resolution, the attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your options and work with you to reach a divorce settlement as amicably as possible. Contact our Wheaton collaborative law attorneys at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.





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