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What is Collaborative Divorce?

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Some readers from the Chicago area may be interested in learning more about collaborative divorce. About one out of every two marriages ends in divorce, and the ratio may increase with each subsequent marriage after the first. Though many divorces tend to be emotional and highly contentious affairs, it is possible for clients to achieve legal separation without the need for adversarial litigation. What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorces seek to bring together specialists from diverse sectors such as child services, mental health and finance to bring about a more amicable solution for both parties. The idea is to provide divorcing parties with guidance toward handling their disputes without a courtroom and thereby emphasize an outcome that may be emotionally healthier for them and any children they may have.

In order to begin the process of collaborative divorce, spouses usually agree to abide by various conditions that are conducive to the process. Such conditions often include maintaining strict confidentiality regarding the proceedings, mandating transparency from both sides, taking no relevant action without the other party's consent and signing an agreement that they will not rely on litigation. In addition, if at a later time either party decides to abandon the collaborative divorce process, they may not rely upon the assistance of anyone that aided the earlier negotiations during any subsequent litigation that they choose to initiate.

An adversarial divorce can be a difficult process for a family to endure and may negatively impact the quality of life of all those involved. If a divorcing couple feels amenable to the idea of a collaborative divorce, they may wish to consult their available options with an attorney. A collaborative divorce might help both parties to avoid feeling marginalized while ensuring that their needs are addressed appropriately.

Source: Think Advisor, "The 13 Anchors of Collaborative Divorce", August 25, 2014

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