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Commonly Asked Questions

What is a Collaborative Law/Divorce?

Collaborative Law (or Collaborative Divorce), provides an alternative way to pursue divorce. The couple that engages in a collaborative divorce will experience a process without litigation. A process that uses respectful dialogue and negotiation to resolve differences and make decisions.

Collaborative Law/Divorce uses specially trained lawyers, divorce coaches, child specialists, and financial specialists to help you reach an out of court agreement with privacy and respect. The Collaborative Divorce goal is to solve problems jointly, prevent a court battle and when there are children to have the children be a priority rather than a casualty.

In Collaborative Divorce both spouses commit to a written pledge not to go to court, to engage in an honest and open exchange of information and utilize a problem solving approach that addresses the issues of both spouses (and their children).

What is the approach in a Collaborative Divorce Process?
The Approach in a Collaborative Divorce provides face-to-face meetings with you, your spouse, your lawyers, and other advisors as needed, including a neutral divorce coach, financial specialist or child specialists. You and your spouse stay in control of the decisions making rather than a judge.

What are the benefits of a Collaborative Law/Divorce?

These are some of the benefits of a Collaborative Divorce:
    * Keeps control of the divorce process and timeline with each 
        party involved. Time lines to meet are not based on court  
        schedules, but on the schedules of the parties involved.
    * Promotes open communication
    * Uses a respectful problem solving approach
    * Identifies and addresses interests and concerns of both parties.
    * Emphasizes what is in the best interest of the children
    * Helps to prevent Parental Alienation
    * Encourages respect
    * Reduces stress and animosity
    * Protects Privacy
    * Prevents “Court Battles”
    * Prepares individuals for new lives
    * Often is more cost effective
        (cost is based on the participants desire and focus to make   
        equitable decisions and to move forward.

Am I a good candidate for the collaborative law process?

You are if you'd like to:
  * Reduce stress and animosity rather than nurture bad feelings;
  * Promote effective communication between partners rather than
       play the "blame game;
  * Retain decision-making control rather than having strangers
       decide your fate;
  * Achieve results reflective of everyone's needs rather than winning
       at all costs;
  * Provide a healthy co-parenting relationship that meets the
       children's needs rather than having children caught in the
       middle;
  * Invest in the future rather than waste money in litigation arguing
       about the past;
  * Protect privacy rather than revealing intimate matters in the public
       record;
  * Improve the odds for long-term cooperation;
  * Making agreements that will be kept rather than broken;
  * Preserve the positive aspects of relationships rather than denying
       or destroying them;
  * Accomplish this life transition in a civil and respectful manner.

Where do I find an attorney who practices Collaborative Divorce in Illinois?
Contact:
Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois (CLII) at: www.collablawil.org