Law Offices of Dwayne Douglas, P.C. Law Offices of Dwayne Douglas, P.C.
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How well can you get along during your divorce?

With a divorce in Illinois, there can be a steep learning curve. You have to learn about all the ways in which you are interconnected with your spouse and what it will take to disconnect all of those connections.

You also have to learn about the different ways you can go about obtaining your divorce. There is the best-known type, involving litigation and the courts. There is divorce mediation, where you and your spouse sit down with a neutral third-party mediator to work out your divorce settlement. And there is collaborative divorce.

In a collaborative divorce, the parties and their attorneys sign a contract agreeing to reach an agreement out of court. The process is designed to enable the parties to work together in a less confrontational atmosphere. This can be beneficial, allowing the couple to create a settlement with a property division and a child custody agreement that both sides feel is fair, reasonable and that they can live with.

However, collaborative divorce is not without its own issues. Collaboration and divorce are something of an oxymoron. After all, the couple is getting a divorce, meaning there are many things in life on which they do not agree, making collaboration difficult. 

The finality of the divorce proceeding (you do not want to have to go back to court a second or third time) can also force people in to a corner, making cooperation, let alone collaboration, even more of a challenge.

With all of this in mind, you need to discuss with your divorce attorney which type of divorce is likely to produce the most cost-effective and least emotionally draining divorce agreement.

Source: USNews.com, "Why a Collaborative Divorce Makes Financial Sense," Geoff Williams, August 19, 2013

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