“My spouse and I have been married for 15 years, we have 2 children, own our home and a business together. So far, our separation has been amicable, should we go through with a do-it-yourself divorce?”
Rather than do it yourself — do it better. Because you have children and operate a business, you should capitalize on the amicable nature of things by considering a collaborative process approach. This method entails the use of a specially trained team of professionals to assist you both in resolving your differences and reaching a more creative solution than would normally be obtained in the “two attorneys going to war” model. Although collaborative law isn’t for everyone, it is ideal for couples who can work together — face to face in structured meetings to discuss their needs and interests, focusing on the couples’ priorities, without a case being filed in court.
Each of you hires a collaboratively trained attorney and then you can decide which other professionals to add to your team. A child’s specialist will help you design a parenting plan that is practical and suits your family’s needs. A financial neutral can help you decide how to deal with the future of your business and divide your other assets. Mental health professionals, called coaches are highly desirable and they help each of you to deal with the emotional upheaval that accompanies even an amicable divorce. The best aspect of collaborative law is that the parties themselves set the priorities and the pace of the process. Don’t be put off by the number of professionals on the team — they make it more efficient. Statistics show that most cal process cases are resolved faster and at less expense than the litigation approach. You also have a more creative solution tailored to your family’s needs because the two of you, with the help of specially trained professionals designed it just for you. Only after you’ve signed a full agreement is the matter formally presented to the court for its approval.
Kevin H. Saville, is a family lawyer trained in collaborative practice with Janet Boyle & Associates, an Illinois family law firm. He can be reached at (847) 394-3940 or (312) 332-1344, [email protected], www.janetboyle.com. Please view his Divorce Magazine profile.