Collaborative Law, also referred to as collaborative divorce and collaborative practice, offers a cooperative approach to divorce and other domestic issues outside of the courts. Both parties may be required to retain new counsel depending upon the Collaborative Engagement Agreement. It is a relatively new and evolving concept which allows each party to retain their own counsel and participate in a cooperative meeting format wherein all participants agree to be bound by a written agreement setting forth the rules and procedures for joint problem solving. The aim of collaborative law is to remove disputes from the adversarial atmosphere that often accompanies litigation and to offer solutions through constructive, analytical resolution. Either party can opt out of the process at any time; however, in that circumstance, both parties must retain new counsel.
During the collaborative process our attorneys work toward engendering mutual respect and focus on common goals within the family. We address the goals of providing for children and attending to their concerns in order to secure their future. By establishing a collaborative structure and a rational outlook to nurture thoughtful decisions, we are able to achieve fair, reasonable settlements that benefit the whole family. Collaborative law looks beyond today’s conflict and carves out resolutions that are not only oriented toward tomorrow and years to come, but that also protect the dynamics of family. The collaborative process sometimes has the advantage of not only arriving at a compromise, but also restoring communication, which on a long-term basis can strengthen the abilities of both parties to deal with future domestic issues.
At Katz, Goldstein & Warren, our divorce attorneys have been leaders in bringing Collaborative Law to Illinois. This process is not presently governed by Illinois Statutes, but has been used on an experimental basis as an alternative dispute resolution method by some lawyers in Illinois.