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Collaborative Divorce and the Illinois Collaborative Process Act

Posted on in Divorce

collaborative divorce, Schaumburg divorce attorney, Illinois Collaborative Process Act, alternative dispute resolution, divorce processIn our modern society, divorce is often unavoidable. But while divorcing couples will need to resolve issues such as the division of assets and debts and the allocation of parental responsibility, reaching a decision on these matters does not have to be contentious.

By using methods of alternative dispute resolution, couples can settle the outstanding issues in their divorce while avoiding costly litigation. 

One of the best ways divorcing couples can work together to reach a settlement is through collaborative divorce (also known as collaborative law). This practice has become more common in recent years, and it has been formally recognized in the state of Illinois through the Illinois Collaborative Process Act, which Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law in August 2017 and which goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Defining the Collaborative Process

In a collaborative divorce, spouses will work together with their attorneys to reach a resolution on any outstanding issues that must be settled. The Collaborative Process Act specifies the nature of this process in the following ways:

  • The collaborative process can be used to resolve any family or domestic relations issues covered by Illinois law, including marriage, divorce, annulment, legal separation, property distribution, significant decision making and parenting time of children, spousal maintenance, child support, adoption, parentage, and premarital and postmarital agreements.

  • During a collaborative divorce, spouses will sign a collaborative process participation agreement that describes the matters to be resolved, states their intention to resolve these matters through the collaborative process, identifies each spouse’s attorney, and states that the spouses will discharge their attorneys if the collaborative process fails.

  • The spouses will agree to voluntarily disclose any information requested during the collaborative process in a complete and timely manner, and to update previously disclosed information if it has substantially changed.

  • The collaborative process concludes when the spouses reach an agreement and submit it to the court. If some matters cannot be settled during the collaborative process, the couple may submit a partial resolution and agree that remaining issues will be settled outside of the collaborative process. Either spouse can terminate the collaborative process at any time with or without cause.

  • Communication between spouses during the collaborative process is not admissible as evidence in court.

Contact an Experienced Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

Collaborative law provides divorcing couples with a way to reach an agreement that is best for everyone involved without the need to fight battles in court. If you are looking to reach an amicable settlement in your divorce, the family law attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. will work with you to help you understand your rights and represent you throughout the collaborative process. Contact a Schaumburg divorce attorney at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=100-0205

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