Schedule a Consultation

Illinois Collaborative Divorce & Cooperative Divorce 2021 Updates

Updated on
March 22, 2021
Article written by
Attorney Matthew K. Dorich

Illinois Collaborative Divorce & Cooperative Divorce 2021 Updates

In this article we will be providing a brief overview of Illinois Collaborative Divorce and Cooperative Divorce as well as discussing any 2021 updates to Collaborative Divorce in Illinois, which includes addressing the topics of:  

  • How to Get a Divorce in Illinois?
  • What is Collaborative Divorce?
  • What is Cooperative Divorce?
  • Collaborative Divorce versus Mediation
  • Best Way to Proceed in a Divorce
  • Co-parenting/Cooperative Parenting
  • Updates to Collaborative and Cooperative Divorce  

This article is intended to be an overview on the current expectations and standards in Illinois Collaborative Divorce, Cooperative Divorce, and their applications. For a more in depth look at some of these areas of law, please follow the links contained throughout this article.  

How to Get a Divorce in Illinois?

In Illinois, a Court of competent jurisdiction must enter an order dissolving a marriage. Either party may initiate a divorce proceeding. Once the case has been started, the parties will need to make determinations on the division of marital assets, debts, and determine what is in the best interest of the parties. These determinations can be made through agreements or by order of the Court. If you would like to learn more about the divorce process in Illinois, please see our in depth article https://www.oflaherty-law.com/learn-about-law/how-to-prepare-and-file-for-a-divorce-in-illinois-9-steps-you-must-take-when-filing-for-divorce.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a process which is intended to allow the parties to have more control over their divorce process. Collaborative Divorce is a process where each party hires their own attorney and voluntarily enters into a “Participation Agreement.” Once the parties, along with their respective attorneys choose to begin a collaborative divorce process, they are expected to communicate open and freely with each other. To help facilitate this process, the attorneys that participate in the Collaborative process, cannot represent their client in a trial if the process is unsuccessful. To find out more about collaborative divorce, please check out our detailed article on that process, https://www.oflaherty-law.com/learn-about-law/collaborative-divorce-vs-cooperative-divorce.

What is Cooperative Divorce?

Cooperative Divorce is sometimes referred to as an uncontested divorce. This process is where the parties do not have many disagreements on parenting time or distribution of the marital assets. There are no formal arrangements related to the parties’ participation. Instead, the parties generally will provide their attorneys with the framework of an agreement and the attorneys will work to capture the spirit of that agreement in the final judgment. In most cases, the parties do not know the full scope of everything that needs to be addressed in a divorce process, so the attorneys work to fill in those gaps.  

Collaborative Divorce versus Mediation

Mediation is a process where the parties, sometimes joined by their attorneys, sit down for a scheduled period with a neutral attorney/mediator to try to reach a resolution on the divorce. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce can be similar processes but there are some differences.  The most obvious difference is that the parties can be ordered to go to mediation, they cannot be ordered to attempt a collaborative divorce. If both parties are not attending with an open mind, the process is not very likely to be successful. To get more information on mediation and if it can be helpful to you, please read our in depth article https://www.oflaherty-law.com/learn-about-law/illinois-family-mediation-explained-illinois-divorce-mediation-child-custody-mediation-in-illinois.

Best Way to Proceed in a Divorce

Each divorce and situation is going to be unique to the parties and facts involved. There is no sure-fire answer on the best way to proceed in a divorce. A collaborative divorce or cooperative divorce is most likely less expensive and time consuming than contested litigation. But if you feel that your spouse is not going to be open and honest or is trying to take advantage of you in the process, litigation may be the best option to protect your rights. It is important to have a candid conversation with your attorney or trusted advisors to determine what options are best for you.

Co-parenting/Cooperative Parenting

Illinois is a shared parenting state. The laws are designed so that each parent should have an active and involved role in their child(ren)’s life if they want to. This truly only works when the parties actively attempt to communicate and share responsibility for the decisions related to raising a child. While the marriage may not have worked, each parent has a right to be involved in their child’s life. It has also been found that children that have both parents in their lives are more successful in the long term. For more information on co-parenting, please review our other article https://www.oflaherty-law.com/learn-about-law/millennial-co-parenting-in-a-platonic-relationship-or-after-divorce.

Updates to Collaborative and Cooperative Divorce  

Collaborative Divorce and Cooperative Divorce have not undergone any substantial changes for 2021. With that said, the Collaborative Divorce process is gaining popularity, with more attorneys participating in the Collaborative Divorce process. For the Cooperative Divorce process, it is again a process that both the courts and attorneys are working to move forward with. The courts have provided several resources which will allow for parties to try to reach agreements with some general guidance from the judge, like pre-trial conferences. For a general overview on both processes, please consult our article on the topic, https://www.oflaherty-law.com/learn-about-law/collaborative-divorce-vs-cooperative-divorce.

Illinois Collaborative Divorce & Cooperative Divorce 2021 Updates
Author

Attorney Matthew K. Dorich

Matt's practice is focused on family law, real estate transactions, civil litigation, estate planning, and business law issues.

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.


9 am - 5 pm M - F
After 5 pm by Appt
11 am - 3pm Sat by Appt
11 am - 2 pm Sun by Appt

Open Hours

Mon - Fri

9am - 7pm

By Appointment

Mon - Fri

after 7pm

Saturday

11 am - 3pm

Sunday

11 am - 2 pm


9 am - 5 pm M - F
After 5 pm by Appt
11 am - 3pm Sat by Appt
11 am - 2 pm Sun by Appt

Open Hours

Mon - Fri

9am - 7pm

Saturday

11 am - 3pm

Sunday

11 am - 2 pm


9 am - 5 pm M - F
After 5 pm by Appt
11 am - 3pm Sat by Appt
11 am - 2 pm Sun by Appt

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone, Zoom Call, or in person at any of our office locations in:

Our attorneys have experience in:

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Who We are

We are your community law firm. Our Iowa & Illinois Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.
Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a consultation specific to your legal situation.