Collaborative Law Attorney Lake Forest, IL
If you and your spouse have decided that remaining married is no longer the healthiest option for one or both of you, it is important to understand that there are two primary processes by which you may obtain a divorce. The first approach is a collaborative one. This process works best for couples whose split is relatively amicable and/or couples who are willing to compromise during negotiations in order to avoid a court “battle.” The second approach is contentious. This form of divorce is often best reserved for couples affected by domestic violence and couples who have fundamental differences concerning property division and/or child custody that are unlikely to be resolved through negotiation.
In either case, each spouse will likely need to be represented by their own attorney. Separate counsel best ensures that each individual’s needs are properly advocated for and that fair divorce settlement terms are reached at the end of the process. It is worth thinking about whether a collaborative model or a contentious model will work best for you and your family before committing to a legal strategy. An experienced Lake Forest, Illinois collaborative law attorney can help you to sort out which approach may best serve your interests.
A collaborative divorce process is usually conducted either via mediation or negotiation. In a mediation setting, each spouse (along with his or her attorney) sits down to discuss property division matters with the aid of a neutral third-party mediator. If the couple has minor children, child custody arrangements and child support expectations may also be discussed. A mediator does not take sides, but simply helps to enable fruitful discussions among those involved.
A negotiation model tends to operate best when attorneys for both spouses serve as the primary means of communication between the parties until property division settlement terms (and child custody and support terms, when applicable) have been reached. In both mediation and negotiation scenarios, final agreements are submitted to a judge before terms are formally approved. Collaborative divorces tend to be less expensive, less time-consuming and less stressful than contentious divorces. A Lake Forest, IL collaborative law attorney can discuss how your divorce process is likely to progress if you choose this model.
A contentious divorce tends to be more expensive than a collaborative divorce, because this model generally involves numerous court hearings before a judge makes his or her determinations related to settlement terms. It is worth noting that this model is actually the best option for some couples. For example, if fundamental disagreements are going to keep collaborative approaches from being productive, there is really no point in a couple wasting its time with an alternative process.
Legal Help Is Available
Regardless of whether your divorce is likely to be collaborative or contentious, if you have questions about the divorce process please consider reaching out to a Lake Forest, IL collaborative law attorney. Lawyers who specialize in divorce matters have often experienced a host of different divorce-related scenarios. As a result, they are generally able to advise individuals about their legal options regardless of how amicable or “messy” their divorces are likely to be. You do not have to navigate the ups and downs of the legal side of divorce alone. Please consider contacting a Lake Forest, IL collaborative law attorney at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC today.