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What Happens During an Illinois Collaborative Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County collaborative divorce attorney

If you have decided to divorce your spouse in Illinois, you may be researching your options. Divorcing spouses who struggle to reach an agreement regarding property division, spousal support, the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and other issues may benefit from an alternative dispute resolution method called “collaborative divorce.” As the name suggests, this type of divorce is a cooperative process that aims to resolve divorce issues using amicable negotiation and discussion without the need for direct judge oversight. Read on to learn more about what this beneficial process entails.

What Is a Participation Agreement?

During a collaborative divorce, each spouse is represented by an attorney who has received special training in collaborative law. The spouses and their lawyers hold several meetings during which they identify the divorce issues that still need to be settled and work to find resolutions to these matters that both spouses can agree on. The lawyers and spouses may also work with other professionals like financial planners and child specialists during the collaborative process. The members of the collaborative team sign a “participation agreement” in which they promise to:

  • Work in a cooperative, civil manner to reach agreements about the terms of the divorce.

  • Voluntarily disclose information and documents relevant to the divorce, such as financial data.

  • Prioritize their children’s best interests during any negotiations regarding child-related issues.

  • Keep the information discussed during negotiations confidential.

Most importantly, the participation agreement includes a commitment that the spouses will resolve the divorce issues outside of court litigation. The spouses also promise not to threaten to take the case to litigation in order to gain leverage during the negotiations. In the majority of cases, spouses are able to successfully reach an agreement about the terms of their divorce during the collaborative process. However, if spouses cannot reach an agreement, and the case requires litigation, the lawyers representing the spouses during the collaborative process cannot represent the spouses during litigation. This works as a significant incentive for all members of the team to resolve issues during the collaborative divorce meetings. Once the spouses have reached an agreement about the terms of their divorce, their lawyers file the divorce settlement with the court. The spouses then attend a final hearing to make the agreed-upon terms official.

Contact a Burr Ridge Spousal Support Attorney

Divorce litigation can be an expensive, stressful experience. Collaborative divorce offers an alternative dispute resolution method that still allows spouses to benefit from their lawyers’ advice and guidance during divorce negotiations while completing the process in a much more cooperative and non-adversarial way. Schedule a confidential consultation with the accomplished law firm of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. to find out how we can protect your rights during your divorce proceedings. Call our compassionate and qualified Cook County divorce lawyers today at 630-575-8585.



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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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