Common Misconceptions of Collaborative Divorce

Woman Discussing Divorce Options With Attorney

Many people, including divorcing couples and some attorneys, have misconceptions about how the process of collaborative divorce works in Illinois. They confuse it for an uncontested case, which is where the parties agree to all the issues before the case starts. If you are considering divorce or are in the process of it, we encourage you to learn more about this option. It can be an especially good choice for couples who want to start discussing their issues right away with the help of niche divorce professionals.

Collaborative Divorce works for Contentious Divorces

The collaborative divorce involves two attorneys always and is similar to mediation but not the same. Each attorney is assisting their individual client’s needs and interests, but they are also members of the team. The team works together to find a solution for the couple that meets as many needs as possible. A collaborative divorce does not mean an “easy” divorce. Collaborative cases can be just as difficult as any other case.  All team members are trained to deal with high conflict situations and try to resolve the conflict.

Collaborative Divorce Costs Less Than Litigation In Most Cases.

The cost of paying three or more professionals in the collaborative divorce process may seem intimidating but it is often less than the cost of litigation.  This is because the process involves the various neutrals listed below who can work independently of the parties’ attorneys and usually bill at a lower hourly rate. They are also working to resolve the parties’ issues and not make matters more complicated or inflamed.

Neutrals used in Collaborative Divorce

Financial Specialist

A neutral third party with CPA or financial planning credentials sits down with you and your spouse to create separate budgets for each party and run several financial scenarios. After each party provides details on income and expenses, the CPA or financial planner provides that information to the team. They can also reality test certain financial scenarios.

Divorce Coach

Divorce coaches in the collaborative divorce process help to facilitate discussion and keep it productive by directing all team members to stay on topic. A coach may identify issues lawyers, or the divorcing couple had not previously considered, but may be important to them.

Child Specialist

If you and your spouse have minor children, a child specialist can meet with the parents separately to help them come to a parenting agreement. You can save money by mediating any parenting time and decisions with the child specialist.

Why Our Law Firm Recommends Collaborative Divorce

It has been our experience that most couples going through a divorce want to get through it quickly. Divorce can be emotionally devastating, and the quicker the couple can make agreements on finances and parenting, the sooner they can start healing. Every professional in the collaborative divorce process shares the couple’s goals whatever they may be, a quick divorce or otherwise.

Distinction from Litigation

When a divorcing couple chooses litigation to resolve legal differences, it often requires one party waiting to see what the other will do and then waiting on a court decision or a court hearing which could take months. Litigation by its very nature comes with a lot of uncertainty. Collaborative divorce is much more focused because each participant has a defined role and share the goal of prompt resolution.

If you need help with any issue concerning your divorce, whether it is a traditional divorce process, collaborative divorce, or mediation, contact us at The Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C. Our practice is dedicated solely to the practice of family law.