Collaborative Law and Mediation: A Constructive, Communication-Based Alternative to Litigation
When you hear the word “divorce,” “litigation” often follows. To be sure, this is expected in many divorces where issues such as child custody and support, the division of property, and debt division are vehemently contested. However, this approach is costly, time-consuming, and emotionally draining, putting a significant strain on any parent and family.
Collaborative law seeks to diminish the costs and stress of a divorce by taking proceedings out of the courtroom. Doing so allows both spouses to calmly discuss their problems to reach a resolution on all issues, finalize the divorce, and begin life anew.
At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we recommend collaborative law in cases where spouses can work together with their attorneys to reach a favorable outcome in the divorce. In doing so, you can save yourself a significant amount of time, money, and stress while still protecting your interests.
So, What Exactly is Collaborative Law and Mediation and How Do You Prepare for It?
Collaborative law means resolving disputes outside of the courtroom. Each spouse will still retain an attorney, though instead of litigation, the attorneys will act as resources for clients who will seek to resolve issues in a conversational manner.
This promotes a discussion-based method that stands in stark contrast to the contentious court battles common to many divorces.
What are the Benefits of Collaborative Law and Mediation?
Regardless of the issues of your divorce, collaborative law is an approach that works well for almost all couples. The reasons why are clear, especially when you consider the benefits of the process:
- You Make the Final Decisions – Because both you and your spouse are discussing and coming to agreements on all issues, you eliminate the possibility of a judge determining the outcome of your case.
- Save Money – Litigation is extremely expensive, putting a strain on both parties. Through collaborative strategies, you can reduce expenses.
- Reduce Time of Divorce – Divorces can sometimes take months, if not years, to resolve. By taking discussion out of the courtroom (and the strict timetable that goes along with it), collaborative law cases reduce the time of your divorce, allowing you to return to your normal life once again.
- Less Stress and Anxiety – Collaborative law allows you to play an active role in your divorce. You’ll always know what is happening and what comes next, making the experience much more manageable.
While there are other benefits, collaborative law addresses these primary areas to resolve the issues all too common to divorce proceedings, bettering the experience for all parties involved.
Before Getting Started, Both Parties Must Sign an Agreement to Respect and Uphold the Collaborative Communication Process
This means that you agree to the following:
- Expert Sharing – The use of experts and their associated costs will be shared between you and your spouse.
- Respect – Collaborative law only works if you create an environment in which you treat your spouse with respect. Ugly and disparaging remarks are only counterintuitive to the process and increase the likelihood that both attorneys will have to resign and you’ll have to find new attorneys to proceed to litigation.
- Amicable Solutions – The goal of collaborative law is to reach a solution that necessitates no further legal action. This means that you must not use the potential of litigation as a threat. Should the collaborative approach fail to work, your attorney must withdraw and you must find new representation before taking the case to court.
- Honest Document Disclosure – You must be willing to provide all necessary documentation openly and honestly. If there are any errors, you should correct them to ensure your divorce decree is completed properly.
Discuss Your Collaborative Divorce Options With the Team at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.
We look forward to discussing how collaborative divorce works and why it’s the best choice for your divorce in DuPage, Kendall, Kane, or Will County.
What About Mediation?
Account for Sensitive Issues While Resolving Legal Matters as Well
In any divorce, there are sensitive issues that arise. Months of litigation only make matters worse, forcing you to endure additional emotional and psychological stress, not to mention financial debt.
Mediation offers an attractive alternative to this all-too-common scenario. At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we’ve used mediation as a technique for hundreds of couples throughout our over three decades of experience. We firmly believe in this approach as a discussion-based, constructive tactic that works in the interest of spouses and their children.
So, What is Mediation and How do you Prepare for it?
Mediation is classified as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) where both parties work with an agreed-upon mediator to discuss issues relevant to the divorce. The purpose of the mediator is to serve as a facilitator in the discussion between the parties, offering guidance as to how spouses can best reach a resolution to their issues.
When mediation is successful, it results in an agreement that will be submitted to a judge for approval. This avoids the countless court dates and hours spent on litigation, allowing you to focus on the issues rather than furthering arguments and running up legal costs.
What Types of Issues Can be Resolved in Mediation Communication?
Much like collaborative law, there is no limit to the number of issues you can resolve through mediation. In fact, just some of the many issues we can address include:
- Child Support
- Parental Responsibilities (Child Custody)
- Parenting Time (Child Visitation)
- Marital Debt and Property Division
What are the Benefits of Choosing Mediation?
When you choose mediation to resolve the issues of your divorce and reach an agreement with your spouse, you’ll enjoy a number of benefits. Some of the most notable advantages include:
- Greater Stability for Children – Mediation creates a less stressful divorce experience, giving children a more peaceful home environment and the calm that comes with the cooperation of their parents.
- Cost-Effective – Mediation is less expensive than litigation because both spouses work together, reducing time spent in court and time discussing every contested issue.
- Protecting Future Family Relationships – While it’s all too simple to view your spouse as your enemy in a divorce, mediation can promote an amicable future that allows you to raise your children and share parenting time successfully.
Mediation also keeps matters more private, preventing you from having to appear and air your issues in open court. It is for these reasons that we suggest mediation to clients who wish to finalize their divorce in the simplest, most cost-effective, and productive way possible.
Contact the Team at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. to Discuss the Potential of Mediation for Your Divorce Case
Mediation is beneficial for spouses and children alike, creating an amicable environment that is more conducive to reaching a resolution and preserving peace at home.
If you’re interested in mediation or other collaborative law services as an option for your divorce, contact our team to request your free, 30-minute consultation with Larry at 630-470-9990. You may also request an appointment via our convenient online form.
We look forward to fostering a positive environment for both you and your children and reaching a resolution that comes with the promise of a better future.