Marriage as an institution is meant, amongst other things, to bring stability to one’s life. No longer single, a married person does not need to stress about the uncertainty of finding someone to spend time with. A marriage is a true partnership, and as partners in life, the couple is meant to be able to help each other through difficult times.
When marriages fall apart, however, some partners seem all too quick to abandon what will soon be, but are not yet, their past responsibilities. For divorcing couples, one partner can feel abandoned, left to fight alone through what will ironically be the hardest part of their relationship. Experienced divorce attorneys can provide some support while representing their clients’ interests. Some divorcing couples are attempting to make the entire process easier for themselves by engaging in collaborative divorce.
In collaborative divorce, both parties to the divorce are represented by an attorney. However, the attorneys and both parties agree that they will forgo the option of litigation, dedicating them entirely to negotiating a mutually agreeable end to the marriage. This includes agreeing on distribution of the marital property, the amount (if any) of spousal support, and issues of child custody.
If done properly, the process can be much cheaper than litigation. Under the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, attorneys are not permitted to take divorce cases on a contingency basis. Contingency payment, in which the attorney is paid a fixed percentage of the total recovery after trial, is ideal for personal injury claims in which an injured plaintiff may not have the resources to pursue a case under an hourly pay scheme. However, incentivizing higher settlements in divorce proceedings is against the public policy of the State of Illinois. This means that the individual parties themselves must pay the hourly rate of their attorneys. If a case goes to litigation, the attorneys will necessarily have to spend hours doing research on the opposition, researching and drafting motions, and ultimately litigating the case in court. A collaborative approach can mean fewer hours spent researching and more time in meetings, trying to reach an agreeable settlement.
Experienced Wheaton Collaborative Divorce Attorneys
If you wish to spare yourself and your soon-to-be ex the pain of litigation, collaborative divorce may be right for you. Our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys have studied the collaborative law process, and they can put that experience and knowledge to work for you. Contact Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today for a consultation.