How Can I Avoid A Contested Divorce?
By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC
If you are planning to file for divorce, or if you are in the early stages of a divorce case in the Chicago area, you are likely considering options to resolve your case as quickly as possible and as cost-effectively as you can. Under Illinois law, uncontested divorces, or those in which the parties have reached an agreement about all aspects of the divorce, tend to go much more quickly and cost less money than contested divorces.
Unlike an uncontested divorce, a contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot reach an agreement about one or more issues concerning the divorce, from the division of marital property to the allocation of parental responsibilities. So, how can you avoid a contested divorce? Our Chicago area divorce attorneys can help. In the meantime, the following are some options to consider for avoiding a contested divorce.
Consider Family Mediation
Even if you start off in a situation where it looks like you may end up having a contested divorce, there are options to resolve disputes with your spouse. A common way to avoid a contested divorce is to enter family mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third-party (the mediator) helps to guide dialogue and negotiation between you and your spouse.
If you can resolve your disputes through mediation, you can enter into an agreement concerning the resolution of those disputes, and you can have an uncontested divorce. If you cannot reach an agreement through mediation, other options may still be available to avoid a contested divorce. And in some cases, you might skip mediation altogether and choose an alternate option for avoiding a contested divorce, such as collaborative divorce.
Consider Collaborative Divorce
While collaborative divorce has some similarities to mediation and alternative dispute resolution more broadly, collaborative divorce is a process through which you and your spouse will each be represented by a collaborative divorce attorney to resolve disputes in your divorce before having to go before a judge in a routine proceeding to finalize your divorce.
A collaborative divorce will be governed by the Illinois Collaborative Process Act, and it will require all parties to enter into a collaborative process participation agreement with the aim of resolving the dispute and getting divorced. If you are deciding between family mediation and collaborative divorce, you should seek specific advice from a Chicago area divorce attorney about the distinctions between the two processes and which process may be a better fit for you.
Consider Negotiating a Marital Settlement Agreement
With help from your Chicago area divorce lawyer, you may be able to negotiate with your spouse to enter into a marital settlement agreement. It is critical to have a divorce attorney on your side during any process of negotiation in your divorce to ensure that you obtain a fair and reasonable settlement.
Contact a Chicago Area Divorce Attorney
If you need help with your divorce case and want to avoid a contested divorce, our experienced Chicago area divorce lawyers can assist you. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to learn more about the services we provide. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to get started on your case.