Collaborative Divorce and Cooperative Divorce may provide more cost-effective and less stressful alternatives to litigation if you and your spouse desire to negotiate your divorce agreement out of court.
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DuPage Collaborative Divorce Attorneys
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DuPage collaborative divorce attorney Kevin O'Flahertydiscusses the differences between collaborative law divorce and Cooperative Divorce.
In this article, our DuPage cooperative divorce attorneys compare and contrast collaborative law divorce, cooperative divorce, and traditional divorce. Traditional divorce, in which formal discovery and depositions are conducted and many issues are decided by the court, can be an expensive proposition. It can also be emotionally taxing for the family. If the Collaborative Divorce and Cooperative Divorce processes are able to bring the parties together on a successful agreement without resorting to the court system, the parties will both save a significant amount of money and avoid the emotional stress that comes with the creation of an adversarial relationship through litigation.
Agreements reached by negotiation out of court tend to be more appropriate and comprehensive than divorce decrees that result from a trial. They also tend to result in less post-divorce litigation.
Collaborative Divorces are more likely to be successful in reaching an out-of-court settlement than Cooperative Divorces, because of the fact that if the Collaborative Divorce process fails the parties will have to hire new attorneys and new experts to litigate. This means that the attorneys are more likely to be invested in the process as an alternative to litigation. More importantly, if the parties have to start fresh with new attorneys and experts, they face an additional expense should they choose to litigate. This tends to be an incentive everyone involved to stay at the bargaining table.
However, if the Collaborative Divorce is a more expensive proposition than a Cooperative Divorce if the parties are not able to reach an agreement. In a Cooperative Divorce, the attorneys can continue to represent their clients should the parties be unable to reach an agreement. Much of the work that the attorneys perform in a Cooperative Divorce will translate smoothly to a traditional divorce so that the clients are not paying for duplicative work. Cooperative Divorce, therefore, tends to be a middle ground between Collaborative Divorce and traditional divorce. Although a Cooperative Divorce is slightly less likely than a Cooperative Divorce to be successful, it will also be significantly less expensive to the clients should the process fail.
Our DuPage Collaborative Divorce attorneys will give you honest guidance, taking your particular situation into account, in order to help you decide whether Collaborative Divorce, Cooperative Divorce, or traditional divorce is the right option for you and your family.
DuPage collaborative divorce attorney Kevin O'Flaherty explains the family mediation process.
In this article, our DuPage family law attorneys explain family mediation. Family mediation is a method of resolving different family law issues, including:
Mediation differs from collaborative law divorce and cooperative divorce in that, in mediation, a third party professional mediatior is brought in to assist the parties and their attorneys in reaching a settlement. Mediation is an undervalued tool to help solve family law related issues outside of court settings which allows parties to attempt to come to agreements on family-related issues. This not only saves time in court but money on legal fees by attempting to resolve these issues with an attorney or 'mediator." As long as both sides are willing, this option is a preferred method that allows our DuPage County family law attorneys the chance to save our clients money and time.
Collaborative divorce lawyer Kevin O'Flaherty of O'Flaherty Law discusses DuPage County spousal maintenance and how it is awarded by Illinois courts if an agreement is not reached by the parties.
In this article, our DuPage collaborative divorce lawyers explain marital settlement agreements. Marital settlement agreements are the end -product of a collaborative divorce or cooperative divorce. Courts will honor any agreement of the parties as to spousal maintenance and division of assets and liabilities so long as the agreement is not “unconscionable.” However, courts retain the discretion to modify agreements relating to child custody and child support if the agreement is not in the best interest of the the child.
Collaborative Law Divorce is an alternative dispute resolution technique whereby the parties and their attorneys commit to out of court settlement of the issues surrounding their divorce. If the parties negotiate in good faith, Collaborative Law Divorces can often be much less expensive and stressful than a traditional divorce. The first step in a Collaborative Divorce is for each party to hire his or her own attorney. It is very important that your attorney has a background in Collaborative Law Divorces and be committed to the process because Collaborative Divorces require a different skill set and knowledge base than traditional divorces. Once each party has hired an attorney, both parties, and their attorneys will sign a "Participation Agreement," which will typically provide that:
The parties agree to negotiate a settlement agreement for their divorce in good faith out-of-court with the purpose of avoiding the necessity of litigation or trial; The parties agree to openly and honestly exchange information in order to avoid the necessity of written discovery and depositions; and The attorneys agree that if the parties are unable to reach an out-of-court agreement and if litigation should become necessary, the attorneys will not represent their clients in the litigation.
The fact that the attorneys must withdraw from representation of their clients should litigation ensue is a defining feature of Collaborative Divorces. This means that the attorneys cannot credibly use the threat of litigation as a negotiating technique. It also means that the parties and their attorneys are all incentivized to commit to the out-of-court settlement process. Once the Participation Agreement has been fully executed, negotiations will begin. The parties and their attorneys will typically have several "four-way" meetings to resolve issues such as asset division, maintenance payments, child support, and allocation of parenting time and responsibility. It is common for the parties to jointly hire neutral experts such as financial advisers, accountants, and divorce coaches in order to facilitate the process. Although there is typically no third party mediator involved, a mediator may be hired if the parties are unable to reach an agreement on all issues on their own. Once a formal agreement has been signed, the attorneys will file it with the domestic relations court along with a petition for dissolution of marriage and an agreed order. The court will generally enter the agreed order dissolving the marriage and incorporating the terms of the agreement in an expedited process.
Cooperative Divorce is similar to Collaborative Divorce. In a Cooperative Divorce, as in a Collaborative Divorce, the parties will agree to negotiate in good faith in an attempt to resolve their issues without litigation and to freely exchange complete information. Written discovery and depositions are rarely conducting in Cooperative Divorces. Unlike a Collaborative Divorce, attorneys participating in a Cooperative Divorce do not sign agreements to withdraw from representation of their clients should the parties be unable to reach an agreement through Cooperative Divorce. This means that if the Cooperative Divorce process fails and litigation becomes necessary, the clients do not have to hire new counsel and start from scratch.