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Divorce Q&A: When the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Changed, Did Collaborative Divorce Change as Well?


The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) was updated on January 1, 2016. With it came changes we’ve discussed in other articles on the blog – including child custody, spousal support calculations, and more. However, one area many don’t think to look for change is in the alternatives to traditional divorce. One of these areas is collaborative divorce.

But, what is collaborative divorce and how did it change? We’ll discuss these questions and others below.

What is Collaborative Divorce? 

When most people think of divorce, they think of litigation and spending a significant amount of time in court and in front of the judge. Alternative dispute resolution techniques like mediation and collaborative divorce change this for the better.

In collaborative divorce, both you and your spouse will still hire attorneys. However, instead of litigating the case (i.e. fighting out issues in court), you’ll meet with your attorneys in a series of meetings to settle your case and work out all issues. This will save a significant amount of time, money, and stress.

Collaborative divorce is still gaining momentum but was around before the IMDMA update. So, what’s different now that the law has changed?

How Collaborative Divorce Has Changed After the IMDMA Update

Illinois is now a no-fault state. This means that the court won’t find either party responsible for the failure of the marriage. And, because there is no incentive to point fingers or make allegations, this makes the collaborative divorce process even smoother and less contentious than it was previously.

Other key changes, including the elimination of child custody mentioned above, are also vital for the collaborative divorce process. Child-related issues are often the most disagreed-upon in any divorce and because custody isn’t “awarded” to either spouse, settling a case and resolving issues is much simpler.

As such, Illinois law facilitates better agreement between a divorcing couple by removing some of the most contentious parts of a divorce. For this reason, collaborative divorce is a process that has continued to grow in popularity.

Learn More About Collaborative Divorce and Your Options at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. 

If you’re interested in collaborative divorce or are uncertain whether the process would work well for your unique situation, Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. can help. As experienced litigators and negotiators, our 35 years of experience means your best interests are always put first.

To learn more about collaborative divorce or to resolve any questions you may have, contact Larry for your free, 30-minute consultation at 630-470-9990 or request an appointment using our simple online form.

We look forward to speaking with you and using these changes in Illinois law to your advantage.

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.