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The parties and their counsel sign a legally binding contract (called a Participation Agreement) committing themselves to resolving the dispute according to collaborative principals and guidelines. Settlement remains the main objective because the lawyers’ continued employment depends upon his or her ability to facilitate an acceptable settlement proposal.
Lets face it - divorce is seldom easy. Divorce requires us to make life-altering decisions at a time when we are most emotionally vulnerable. Often, the last thing we need is a blood and guts court battle over who gets the silverware. Collaborative law is designed specifically for couples who are looking for a calm, educational and professional alternative to divorce litigation.
In deciding child custody, the Illinois court does not consider the gender of the custodial parent. The court considers all relevant factors including the wishes of the child's parents, the wishes of the child, the relationship of the child with the parents, siblings, and any other person who significantly affects the child's best interest, the child's adjustment to home, school, and community, the mental and physical health of everyone, any physical violence by the child's potential custodian, whether directed at the child or at another person, episodes of repeated abuse whether directed at the child or directed at another person, and the willingness and ability of each parent to encourage a close relationship between the other parent and the child.
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