What Is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative family law is a rather new dispute resolution focused on preserving relationships post-marriage and on finding a settlement of the marital estate in a cooperative way. Collaborative law happens outside of the court system, allowing clients themselves to control the timeline and to keep negotiations private.

How Does It Work?

In collaborative law, a husband and wife in the midst of a divorce or separated parents involved in a child custody dispute agree that each one will hire his or her own attorney who is certified as a collaborative law practitioner. The Chicago collaborative law attorney, their clients, a collaborative law coach, and a financial specialist (if needed) then work together to come up with a solution to matters such as property division, support, or child custody.

Once this agreement is made, the parties file a petition and proposed marital settlement with the court and, if the court approves, the divorce could occur in 10 to 14 days. This approach requires a true commitment to the success of the collaborative method as the attorneys, coach, and all others associated with the process are disqualified from taking part in a contested divorce if the cooperative effort should fail.

To schedule a consultation with Chicago collaborative law attorney Van A. Schwab, contact the law firm.

What Can Be Accomplished Through Collaborative Law?

Many matters between divorcing spouses or separated parents of minor children are best handled in a client-controlled collaborative law setting. Many people prefer to negotiate family legal matters outside of court, such as:

  • Establishing parental rights and responsibilities (child custody)

  • Establishing parenting time (visitation) arrangements

  • Agreeing on spousal support amounts and duration

  • Distributing marital property (including pension plan proceeds and stocks)

  • Assigning responsibility for joint debts

Benefits of Collaborative Law

Collaborative law provides a framework for cooperation and mutual consent as child custody and equitable property distribution are worked out by the people who will live with the results. Each person has the benefit of knowledgeable legal counsel while retaining control of the decision-making process.

Collaborative law may be less expensive than traditional divorce litigation. It also may help divorcing spouses or separated parents work harder toward getting a case resolved, without court interference. This can keep costs down and preserve a working relationship between the parting spouses.

Help Navigating Collaborative Law Agreements

A good collaborative law lawyer insists that clients follow the rules that make the decision-making process work. To schedule a consultation on the use of collaborative law in your marital separation or child custody matter, call The Law Offices of Van A. Schwab or use our online contact form to schedule a meeting.