In a recent Chicago Tribune article, experts reported that more and more divorcing couples are moving toward the collaborative divorce model, rather than toward the more adversarial litigation process that has traditionally dominated the world of divorce. Particularly when children are involved in a divorce, it appears that more parents are seeing the benefits of placing their children’s needs and best interests before their own anger, betrayal, and negative emotions. By avoiding behaviors that place their children in the center of their divorces, parents can work together to co-parent their children even if they are no longer functioning as an intact married couple.
In a collaborative divorce, parties work together with their respective attorneys, a neutral third party financial advisor, a mental health professional if needed, and a mediator in order to reach an agreement on all issues related to their divorce, including property division, child custody and visitation arrangements, and child support. The idea behind collaborative divorce is to avoid litigation, although it is still a possibility if the collaborative process fails in any aspect of the divorce. Obviously, this trend is positive for both children of the divorce and the pocketbooks of the divorcing parents.
Some also attribute the shift toward collaborative divorce to the continuing economic downturn. Ongoing divorce litigation can cost upwards of $20,000 for each divorcing spouse, or more in particularly contested cases. In contrast, a collaborative divorce that involves mediation and negotiations can cost as little as $1,500 to resolve. For people already feeling the inevitable financial pinch that a divorce can cause, concluding the divorce proceedings with as little as expense as possible is likely to be the most attractive option.
As you move towards a divorce, contact an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer who will listen to your concerns and advise you on how best to proceed while keeping your family’s best interests at heart. If you’re considering a collaborative divorce for your family, our Chicago divorce attorneys can help.