What Is the Illinois Collaborative Process Act?

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As of 2018, Illinois is the 12th state to adopt a collaborative practice law under the Illinois CollaborativeProcess Act. In a collaborative divorce, spouses hire attorneys to facilitatetheir equitable distribution negotiations outside of court. Since implementingthe law in January, it has become increasingly common for divorcing couplesto utilize the collaborative process as an alternative to traditional divorce.

How Does the Process Work?

In a traditional Illinois divorce, spouses file for dissolution of marriageand hire lawyers to represent their individual interests in court. Divorcecan be a stressful and highly emotional process, and court negotiationsmay become adversarial if spouses start fighting over asset division.

A collaborative divorce is a unique alternative because it requires allparties—spouses and attorneys—to sign an agreement statingthat all negotiations will take place outside the courtroom. Under this pledge,divorce lawyers are responsible for facilitating communication between both parties untila settlement is mutually agreed upon. Lawyers also have the duty of ensuringthat all participants are fully and honestly disclosing any requestedand required information.

The intention of the collaborative divorce process is to keep negotiationsas amicable as possible. Collaborative divorces are reportedly very successfulin easing the stress and emotional anxieties of separating spouses. Theyalso make the overall divorce process easier for children.

What If the Collaboration Fails?

Sometimes, even the best of intentions don’t always work out. Despitethe initial agreement, a couple can still request to settle their contestedissues in court. However, the lawyers who signed the original agreementmust withdraw their legal representation because they failed to help theirclients complete the collaborative divorce process.

Call for a Free Consultation

As a firm, Wakenight & Associates, P.C. is exclusively focused on practicingfamily and divorce law. Our attorneys are remarkably knowledgeable aboutcourtroom strategies and negotiation tactics, and can offer you the legalrepresentation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about yourdivorce options.

Call Wakenight & Associates, P.C.to schedule your free consultation. We have offices conveniently locatedin Oak Park, Mokena, Joliet, and Mokena.

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