Anderson & Boback Logo
collaborative divorce illinois rule 294

Collaborative Divorce and the Positive Impact of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 294

Categorized as Collaborative Divorce, Illinois Divorce

Today more Chicago couples are turning to collaborative divorce. For most of us, the word “divorce” brings to mind lengthy court battles, tens of thousands of dollars spent on attorneys’ fees, heartbreak, anger, and endless custody disputes. While it is true many of those cases exist, there are couples who would like to take a holistic and collaborative approach to the dissolution of their marriage. For those couples, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 294 should make collaborative divorce is a more effective option.

While collaborative divorce has been used for a while in Illinois, the process was not enacted into law until August of 2017 and the statute did not become effective until January 1, 2018. The statute is 750 ILCS 90/1. Pursuant to the new statute, each party must sign an agreement meeting the requirements of the statute that sets out the parameters and each parties’ intentions.

The Collaborative Divorce Process – How It Works

In a collaborative divorce, both parties are represented by an attorney who has had training as a collaborative attorney. Typically, there will also be an accountant, psychologist, and possibly even a child specialist if children are involved. These individuals make up the collaborative divorce team. Through the collaborative divorce process, couples meet with their attorneys and their team to discuss their goals and what they would like to achieve. The couple works together to create a settlement and work through any issues to resolve the marriage in everyone’s best interest.

Similarities to Divorce Mediation

The process is similar to mediation. However, there is no third party mediator, just the collaborative team and the parties. The Court cannot order parties to do a collaborative divorce. The parties can agree to keep communications in the collaborative process confidential if they wish. The Court does not need to approve the agreement; however, will need to if the parties wish for their agreement to be enforceable.

Rule 294 and Disqualification of Lawyers Serving in Collaborative Process

On June 8, 2018, the Supreme Court of Illinois adopted a new Rule regarding attorneys representing clients in the collaborative divorce process. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 294 disqualifies attorneys, and their law firms from representing any parties in litigation that they previously represented in the collaborative divorce process.

Supporting the Collaborative Divorce Process

This rule helps to give weight to the collaborative divorce process. One of the main attractions to collaborative divorce is that it is generally less expensive than traditional divorce where litigation is involved. While you are still paying attorneys and have a collaborative team, the collaborative law approach does away with the extra expenses related to drafting motions, extensive research, and time spent in Court. Instead, the time is spent by the parties negotiating and working towards a joint agreement.

Now that Supreme Court Rule 294 is in place, lawyers have an extra incentive to ensure their clients are working things out and abiding by their collaborative law agreement.

Incentive to Make Your Collaborative Divorce a Success

Pursuant to this new rule, neither the attorney, nor their law firm may represent a client who they previously represented in the collaborative divorce process. If the clients chose to litigate, they must find a new attorney and a new law firm. This new rule serves as an incentive to the attorney and as an incentive to the parties participating as well not to withdraw form the collaborative process. Most individuals do not want to switch attorneys mid-way through a dissolution of marriage. Most attorneys want to keep their clients. This new rule makes it more difficult to withdraw from the collaborative process; thereby, giving more importance to the collaborative process itself.

While collaborative divorce is relatively new, this new rule should strengthen the collaborative process and make it more enticing to individuals who are serious about avoiding a long drawn out litigation and resolve the matter between themselves instead of having the Court determine their fate.

If you are facing divorce or have questions about the process of divorce in Illinois, we can help. Contact Anderson & Boback to schedule confidential consultation and learn more about divorce and if the collaborative divorce process is right for your situation.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

A cohabitation agreement is an agreement or contract entered into between two people living together in the same household who are in a romantic relationship but not married. With more millennial couples choosing to live together, whether planning to marry…

When going through a divorce it's not uncommon to think "I never want to get married again!" But later, you may fall in love again and be ready to venture into marriage again. If you are planning to remarry, you…

While doing an initial consultation with an individual looking to get divorced, I have found it is common to get questions about whether it is possible for a divorcing couple to work together with an attorney to do a collaborative…

No one likes to pay spousal maintenance (formally called "alimony" or referred to as spousal support). When you are employed and your ex refuses to work, there is a greater reluctance to want to pay maintenance. In Chicago divorces, there…

Finding the best child custody lawyer in Chicago may seem like a daunting and intimidating process if you have never been involved in a legal dispute. This is especially true when it comes to a custody case involving your children…

Parenting disputes, and accusations of being a bad or unfit parent, are extremely common in the world of divorce, juvenile, and family law. Many parents enter the courtroom with a laundry list of accusations of poor parenting against the other…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Why Choose

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870