If you believe that you and your spouse can negotiate and exchange information regarding your divorce in good faith out of court, a Collaborative Divorce or a Cooperative Divorce may be the most cost-effective and least stressful option for you.
Please contact our friendly
Elmhurst Collaborative Divorce & Cooperative Divorce Attorneys
at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation:
See below for our other locations. If our office locations are not convenient for you, we are happy to speak with you by phone.
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Kevin O'Flaherty oversees all legal matters and is actively involved in making sure every client's case, big or small, is handled with excellence and attention to detail. He is available to contact through phone and email and his rates are available upon request.
In this Learn About Law podcast & videoblog, Elmhurst collaborative law divorce attorney Kevin O'Flaherty discusses the changes in 2016 to Illinois Divorce law.
Collaborative Law Divorce is an alternative to litigating the issues involved in your divorce through the court system. If both parties are negotiating the terms of the divorce in good faith, it can be much more cost-effective than traditional divorce.
In a Collaborative Divorce, as in a traditional divorce, each party will hire his or her own attorney. However, unlike a traditional divorce, both parties and each of their attorneys will sign a document called a "Participation Agreement" at the beginning of the process. The Participation Agreement will typically provide that:
In this Learn About Law episode, attorney Kevin O'Flaherty discusses what dissipation and contribution are and how they are involved in the way marital assets are distributed.
Cooperative Divorce differs from Collaborative Divorce in that, if the parties are unable to resolve their issues out of court through the Cooperative Divorce process, the parties are not required to hire new attorneys.
As in a Collaborative Divorce, the parties to a Cooperative Divorce will agree at the outset to negotiate in good faith out of court and freely and openly exchange information. As in a Collaborative Divorce, the attorneys in a Cooperative Divorce are unlikely to conduct written discovery or depositions. The process is also concluded in the same way: by filing the final agreement with the court for approval.
Elmhurst collaborative divorce attorney, Kevin O'Flaherty, compares and contrasts collaborative divorce and cooperative divorce.
Everybody knows that divorce can be expensive and stressful. Collaborative Divorce and Cooperative Divorce are alternatives to traditional divorce that, if successful, tend to significantly reduce the costs of divorce as well as the stress associated with litigation. If the Collaborative Divorce or Cooperative Divorce process fails, then the parties still have the option to have the outstanding issues in their case resolved by the court through traditional divorce methods.
Collaborative Divorce, as compared to Cooperative Divorce, tends to have a higher likelihood of success, because the parties and attorneys are incentivized to avoid litigation. If the Collaborative Divorce process fails and litigation becomes necessary, the attorneys will have to leave the case. This reduces the chance that the attorneys will use litigation as a threat or negotiating tool. More importantly, if the Collaborative Divorce Process fails, the parties will have to hire new attorneys who will start their representation from scratch and will not be permitted to use the work product of the previous attorneys. Each party will also have to hire new experts, who may be duplicating the work of previously hired neutral experts. The parties, therefore, are less likely to walk away from the negotiating table because of the additional expense of starting the traditional divorce process from the beginning with new attorneys and experts.