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How Is a Collaborative Divorce Different From Divorce Litigation in Illinois?

 Posted on March 07, 2024 in Divorce

Blog ImageWhen preparing for divorce, you will need to make choices about how to proceed with the legal process and how decisions will be made about the outcome of your case. Because ending your marriage will likely involve disagreements between you and your spouse, it is important to understand what methods may be used to determine to resolve these disputes and create a final divorce decree.  Collaborative divorce and divorce litigation are two options, and your choice of the best method to use will depend on a variety of factors. An experienced attorney can provide invaluable guidance on which route best aligns with your circumstances and goals.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial process designed to ensure that divorcing spouses can work together amicably to resolve their disputes. This approach fosters a cooperative environment, encouraging the parties to prioritize their mutual interests and reach a settlement that benefits everyone involved. It can be particularly beneficial when children are in the picture.

Key Features of Collaborative Divorce:

  • Joint problem-solving: The parties, along with their respective attorneys, engage in a series of negotiations, working to reach a mutually agreeable settlement that addresses all outstanding issues.

  • Neutral experts: Often, collaborative divorces involve other professionals, such as financial advisors and mental health counselors, who can provide guidance on the options for resolving certain issues.

  • Privacy: Unlike court proceedings, the collaborative process is private, keeping sensitive details out of the public record.

  • Cooperation: The focus will be on negotiating agreements that will be acceptable for both parties. The parties and their attorneys will typically sign an agreement stating that if they cannot agree on a settlement, the attorneys will withdraw from the case, and the parties will need to be represented by other attorneys during litigation.

  • Control: Spouses retain control over the final agreement, tailoring their decisions to their unique situation without a judge's intervention.

How Does Divorce Litigation Differ?

Divorce litigation is the traditional divorce route, involving a trial in which a family court judge will play a central role in decision-making. This process is adversarial, with each spouse often striving to secure the most favorable outcome, sometimes at the expense of the other party.

Characteristics of Divorce Litigation:

  • Court intervention: A judge will make decisions on contested issues, including asset division, child custody, and spousal support.

  • Public record: Litigation proceedings and filings are public, and the details of a divorce could be accessible to others.

  • Adversarial nature: Litigation can intensify conflicts, potentially leading to strained relationships and difficulty cooperating in the future.

  • Cost and time: Litigation is often much more costly and time-consuming than other methods, and taking time to prepare for a trial and attend multiple court proceedings can take several months or even more than a year.

Choosing the Right Path for Your Divorce

Deciding between collaborative divorce and litigation depends on your specific situation, including your relationship with your spouse, the complexity of your assets, and your goals for post-divorce life. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed choice:

  • Communication: Collaborative divorce may be suitable if you and your spouse can communicate respectfully and are willing to compromise when negotiating agreements.

  • Privacy concerns: You may want to opt for a collaborative divorce if keeping your affairs private is a priority.

  • Cost and time: Collaborative divorce can potentially help you and your spouse reduce expenses and complete your case more quickly.

  • Complex disputes: Litigation might be necessary if there are complex issues that you and your spouse will be unable to resolve on your own or if there is a significant imbalance in power or other issues that make negotiations difficult or impossible.

Contact Our DuPage County Collaborative Divorce Attorneys

The choice of how to approach your divorce can have a long-lasting impact on your life and the lives of your children and other family members. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, our Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyers are dedicated to guiding you through the process of ending your marriage. We can help you determine what methods may be most beneficial for you, and we are ready to advocate for solutions that will meet your needs. We will always ensure that your rights are protected and your voice is heard. Contact us at 630-909-9114 to arrange a consultation and discuss how we can support you during this pivotal time.

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