Collaborative Law is an alternative, non-adversarial way to dissolve a marriage that seeks to minimize the cost, stress and frustrating delays associated with traditional litigated divorce. It’s a way to get divorced without destroying yourselves financially or emotionally.
If you have decided to dissolve your marriage, you are almost certainly coming from a place of pain and loss, and probably fear and uncertainty. If you are not the one who decided to initiate the divorce, you might be feeling shocked, scared, and angry. You and your spouse are probably also in different places along the divorce continuum. Usually the partner who announces that they want a divorce is much, much farther down the path than the person who has just been told their marriage is ending. Collaborative Law seeks to set the stage so that you can move on, from wherever you are, and start on a path toward healing and renewal.
The Collaborative Law Process is ideal for families because it recognizes that after the legal divorce, the family will still exist, just in a different form. There will still be graduations, weddings and the birth of grandchildren. It is truly a gift to the children of divorce when they know that both of their parents will be still part of these important occasions. It is unbelievably sad when even grown children dread these events because they think they can’t have both of their parents present at these important events because the parents have not healed and moved on from the divorce.
Former spouses who have been through Collaborative Divorce are able to co-parent more peacefully because the process of divorce itself is focused on working through the issues with respect, dignity and honesty. It can also give the co-parents valuable communication tools to use in the future when they interact with regard to the children (whether or not they are still minors).
In addition to your collaborative lawyer, other collaboratively trained professionals may be added to your “team” in order to assist with financial, emotional or parenting matters. A full team approach would consist of two attorneys, one financial neutral, a divorce coach for each spouse (or sometimes just one coach for the whole team), and child specialist if children are involved.
Can any attorney conduct a Collaborative Divorce?
Only attorneys who have specifically trained in the Collaborative technique are qualified to be Fellows of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois (CLII), the only organization in Illinois authorized by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. In addition to the initial training, and mediation training, CLII Fellows are required to attend annual advanced training events in order to remain in good standing. Our attorneys have received this special training and are CLII Fellows in good standing.
Visit the CLII website: www.collablawil.org