Illinois Collaborative Law Attorney
Collaborative law is an innovative and integrative approach to divorce litigation. Instead of simply arguing one side against another, as traditional divorce cases tend to do, collaborative law seeks to provide clients with an alternative to court-determined outcomes. Although each party has legal representation, collaborative divorces are handled completely outside of the courtroom.
Erin Webster O'Brien, P.C. is one of the few attorneys in Will County to offer collaborative legal services to her clients. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals as well as a certified ongoing fellow of the prestigious Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois. This membership provides her with extensive training as well as connections to a vast professional community that she uses to help her clients.
How Does It Work?During a collaborative divorce, Ms. O'Brien takes a big-picture approach to the case, bringing in experts to help resolve all aspects of the separation to come to a mutual agreement. First, a financial consultant is brought in to determine maintenance (spousal support, formerly known as “alimony”) and how it can be best structured for the family. Child support can also be determined at this time, although most parties opt to follow the state formula for child support unless there are special circumstances to consider.
Clients also have the option to bring in a mental health professional to help the family get through the emotional trauma of a divorce. Although Ms. O'Brien is a reliable legal resource, she will often refer clients to her network of counseling professionals who can best tackle this dynamic of divorce cases.
From there, both parties work toward a satisfactory solution. In a true collaborative divorce, the first dissolution is not filed until a decision is reached between both parties on all major matters regarding property division, assets, child support and child custody.
Applying the Collaborative Approach to Traditional Divorce
Inevitably, some collaborative cases falter during the process because the two parties simply can’t agree or because they allow their emotions to get in the way. However, many of the elements of collaborative law can still be employed to help clients achieve a desirable result.
A judge doesn’t know you or your family. In the collaborative law process, the judge is taken out of the equation and a legal intermediary is used instead. If you’re interested in this type of law, please call 815-727-2100 or send an email to set up a consultation today.