Collaborative Divorce

The Collaborative Divorce process is intended to be sensitive, compassionate, and empathic way to develop a divorce agreement, division of assets and parenting arrangement without litigation and its expense.

Collaborative Divorce is based on a legal framework and structured process. It is intended to serve divorcing couples who are committed to minimizing the pain and expense of litigation by working cooperatively with a group of professionals to reach a divorce agreement that best meets the needs of each partner and any children. The Collaborative Divorce process results in a binding agreement.

The professionals involved in a Collaborative Divorce include each spouses’ attorneys, a divorce coach, a child specialist if needed, and a financial advisor.  The Divorce Coach is a mental health professional that provides emotional support to the couple. She or he supports, advocates for and facilitates a collaborative process but does not serve as a therapist. The Divorce Coach’s role is to maintain neutrality and serve the couple by helping them to focus on the benefits of working collaboratively.

Collaborative Divorce is sometimes confused with divorce mediation.  Divorce mediation is similar to Collaborative Divorce in that the divorcing couple agrees to work with a neutral mediator to avoid litigation and come to a mutually-beneficial legal agreement for the termination of their marriage, division of assets, plus any co-parenting arrangements.  However, at the conclusion of the mediation, the couple is not legally bound to accept the agreement, nor are they committed to finishing the process.

Collaborative Divorce and Divorce Mediation are both designed to reduce confrontation and deliver a more productive outcome than traditional divorce litigation.  For divorcing couples who desire to resolve the end of their marriage as amicably and compassionately as possible, these options are worth thoughtful consideration.

For more information, visit Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois.