Chicago Area Collaborative Practice Attorney
Another Option For Divorcing Couples
What is Collaborative Practice?
In Collaborative Practice, specially trained lawyers, divorce coaches, child specialists and financial specialists help you reach an out-of-court agreement, with privacy and respect. In Collaborative Practice, both spouses commit to:
- A written pledge not to go to court
- An honest exchange of information, and
- A problem-solving approach that addresses the issues of both spouses and their children.
The goal is to solve problems jointly, prevent a court battle and, when there are children, to have them be a priority, rather than a casualty.
Who sets the terms for the divorce?
Collaborative practice provides face-to-face meetings with you, your spouse, your lawyers, and other advisors as needed, You and your spouse, rather than any judge, stay in control of the decisions. Our problem-solving approach emphasizes cooperation in finding solutions so you reach a workable settlement by building on areas of mutual agreement.
What is the team approach all about?
In addition to legal counsel, the Collaborative Practice team also frequently includes divorce coaches, a neutral financial specialist, and a neutral child specialist.
–A Divorce Coach helps each spouse manage the pain and strain of changing relationships while focusing on goals for the present and future.
–A neutral Financial Specialist helps you and your spouse identify your options and alternatives by reviewing all assets and incomes, and assists in developing financial scenarios for the future well-being of all family members.
–A neutral Child Specialist helps you and your spouse create parenting time plans and parenting arrangements customized to fit the unique needs of your family, assists the parents to project into the future so the parenting plan incorporates change, and provides support to the children during the process.
Why is Collaborative Practice better?
- Keeps control of the process and timeline with the individuals
- Provides a much less time-consuming process
- Promotes open communication
- Gives spouses a greater sense of involvement in the decision making which affects your lives
- Uses a problem-solving approach
- Encourages creative solutions in resolving issues
- Identifies and addresses the interests and concerns of all
- Emphasizes the needs of children
- Creates agreements more likely to be adhered to by both spouses
- Encourages mutual respect
- Reduces stress and animosity
- Protects privacy
- Prevents a court battle, and eliminates the fear and anxiety associated with having a judge decide your issues
- Prepares individuals for new lives
- Is usually less costly than litigation.
Where couples can make mutual decisions about what they want out of a divorce, a collaborative divorce might be a faster, more cost-effective route to achieving the same ends, without the anguish and expense of protracted litigation. By exploring this option, individuals may find that the process of ending a marriage can be less confrontational and adversarial.
Contact The Law Office of Jennifer A. Pritz today for a free initial consultation, and find out if this option is right for your situation.
How is Collaborative Divorce Different?
A traditional divorce can take a long time to complete, often up to 18 months or more. It typically involves the following steps, mirroring the steps associated with most kinds of civil litigation:
- Filing of petition
- Settlement or trial
- Granting of divorce decree
By contrast, in a collaborative divorce , the petition and dissolution occur on the very same day. In a collaborative divorce, each individual acquires his or her own lawyer trained in collaborative law and mediation. The parties meet to work out a divorce agreement that addresses all the components of a regular divorce, including property division, child custody, child support and spousal support. While the parties are technically on “opposite” sides, they are working toward the same goal: an amicable, efficient way to end a marriage and work out its associated issues relating to children, property and finances.
In the event that a couple cannot reach an agreement, they must start over, with different attorneys, and pursue the traditional divorce route.
The Advantages of Collaborative Divorce
Couples who pursue the option of a collaborative divorce typically have a high success rate. They find this route to be a cheaper and less stressful way to reach the goal of divorce without the anguish, expense and acrimony of litigation. By working toward the same goal, reaching a mutually agreement without going to court is very much within reach. If you are contemplating divorce, contact me, attorney Jennifer A. Pritz , to explore this option.
For individuals considering divorce, it is important to know that options other than litigation exist that can save you time, money and emotional anguish. If you are interested in learning more about the collaborative divorce, contact me today to schedule a free initial consultation.