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Collaboration may make divorce easier

Collaboration may make divorce easier

Illinois residents who may be contemplating divorce know that this process is not always smooth. The transition from marriage to separation requires making many important and often difficult decisions. Sometimes the divorce process is amicable, with both spouses working toward a fair dissolution, and other times the process is anything but friendly. However, if both spouses are able to agree on the important issues, then it is possible to reach a workable settlement outside the courtroom: collaboration may make divorce easier.

With a collaborative divorce, each party has their own attorney to assist them, and the final decision about any issue is a mutual one. A divorce that relies on mediation, on the other hand, builds on this collaborative model, but a mediator works with both parties and their attorneys to find a solution that is acceptable. However, the mediator is not able to legally force acceptance of any decision. If neither of these processes seem to work, soon-to-be divorced couples may turn to arbitration as a third option. This format resembles mediation, but the decision the arbitrator makes is legal and binding.

Through all stages of the divorce process, it is important to check credit reports to ensure awareness of any outstanding debts. Experts recommend ordering credit reports from all three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. It is also important to close bank accounts and credit cards. It may be best to open up a new account that has no link to the ex-spouse. If one spouse retains the house or car, the other spouse's name should be removed from the mortgage or loan. This way, the spouse that no longer wishes to own these items cannot be held responsible if the other spouse fails to make payments.

Finally, all passwords, including social media passwords, need to be changed. Many individuals share their passwords with their spouse while they are married, but not everyone thinks to change these passwords after the divorce. An attorney may provide insight into the steps an individual might take to prevent unnecessary problems as part of a divorce, thus making the whole process and the individuals' new lives easier.

James Kelly is a seasoned divorce lawyer with over 20 years of experience in family law, divorce and bankruptcy. He can help you decide if collaboration might be a good fit for your situation. He specializes in divorce cases in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Cook County, Lake County and surrounding areas. Learn how he can help you in your situation - contact him today for a free consultation.

Source: Warrick Publishing, "Divorcing? Protect your finances, personal data", Jason Alderman , July 26, 2014

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