Effective January 1, 2018, Illinois law authorizes and facilitates collaborative divorce. The Collaborative Process Act is a groundbreaking law for Illinois family lawyers.
Please note that the Gitlin on Divorce: A Guide to Illinois Family Law contains a new chapter regarding collaborative divorce in Illinois. See the Gitlin Law Firm’s Q&As regarding collaborative divorce in Illinois. This new chapter was written by Gunnar J. Gitlin and Stephanie Kasten of the Gitlin Law firm. And we recognize the special contribution of Theresa Kulat, immediate past President, Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois.
Please recall that one of the key features of collaborative practice is that it is a form is limited scope representation. What that means is the divorcing couple and the lawyers sign an agreement that has a disqualification clause. The disqualification clause provides that the lawyers are disqualified if the case must be litigated. The focus, therefore, in collaborative divorce cases is on settlement.
One of the critical features of the new law is that the divorce case can be stayed while the couple is going through their collaborative divorce. This allows costs to remain as low as possible while not prejudicing any party’s rights by a potential delay in filing the petition for dissolution of marriage.