On August 18, 2017, the Governor signed into law the Illinois Collaborative Practice Act. It will be effective January 1, 2018. This will serve to be a groundbreaking law for Illinois family lawyers as for the first time collaborative divorce practice in Illinois is legislatively authorized.
Synopsis As introduced: Creates the Collaborative Process Act. Defines terms. Provides that the Act applies to collaborative process participation agreements that meet the requirements of the Act signed on or after the effective date of the Act. Contains provisions concerning: requirements of collaborative process participation agreements; the beginning and conclusion of the collaborative process; proceedings before the court; disclosure of information; standards of professional responsibility and mandatory reporting; confidentiality; and privileges. Provides that the Act is subject to the supervisory authority of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Senate Committee Amendment No. 1.: Provides that “collaborative process matter” does not include any dispute, transaction, claim, problem, or issue that: (i) is the subject of a pending action under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987; (ii) is under investigation by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services pursuant to the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act; or (iii) resulted in a currently open case with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Provides that a collaborative process terminates when, among other circumstances, the process no longer meets the definition of collaborative process matter. Provides that nothing in the collaborative process may prohibit a party or nonparty participant from making a report of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or exploitation of a child or adult under the law of this State. Removes language providing that the privilege against disclosure for collaborative process communications applies in certain situations if a child protective services agency or adult protective services agency is a party to or otherwise participates in the process.