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Spouse states he wants a collaborative divorce. We still live in same house. He is extremely uncooperative at home.Will this wor

Chicago, IL |

As much as he started this process, and hired most expensive attorney in town. He now claims he is doing it as he states i have a personality disorder. Actually he has been diagnosed with major depression and sleeps excessively. I am a stay home mom and have been with the kids 90 percent of time. they are 14-14-12. he states
he is going for 50-50 custody to spare them from me. Yet, he is unwilling to talk to my counselor, see a marital counselor, or have me see a his counselor to verify his made up diagnosis. He is precises with numbers and is recording everything he says to me, and saving every email. Just seems like this is anything that is cooperative to me. So, wondering if this process works under these conditions.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

It sounds to me like a collaborative divorce would be a good idea . . . for HIM. Your relationship sounds abusive -- it sounds like there is a real power imbalance, here, and that would mean that the collaborative divorce process would probably benefit him and hurt you.

Your better strategy would be to work with an experienced family law attorney.

The alleged diagnoses will probably amount to nothing. If the mental health of the parties becomes an issue, the law allows attorneys and the court to get to the bottom of things -- it's really nothing to be concerned about, at this point.

It seems like joint custody wouldn't likely work, here; and that a court would be unlikely to order it.

Bottom line, to answer your question: forget collaborative divorce and hire a lawyer.

Questions? Call -- 312-987-9999 -- for a no-charge, no-obligation free Family Law legal consultation.

Asker

Posted

Thats what I thought. But I have hired a collaborative person and have asked repeatedly if he thinks this will work in this case. He states it would be far worse than a litigated case. Since there is documentation that shows he is unreliable as a father and does everything unilaterally, i questioned this and was told the other way would be worse. I have 4K into this collaborative guy and another 2K researching lawyers. In my heart there isnothing collaborative about this. why would my attorney say to stick with it?

Asker

Posted

I keep questioning why he would want to do it this way as there is no way i would share custody or legal issues with him. he only wants it done one way and thats his way. he has hired the meanest reputation shark like female litigator. so i thought if i went collaborative it would be easier, but dont see how it serves my goals at all.

Wes Cowell

Wes Cowell

Posted

The collaborative process is good in a few instances: 1) where there are a lot of assets / liabilities and it takes a fair amount of accounting to come up with the right numbers: In a collaborative process, the attorneys agree on a single expert (accountant, appraiser, whatever) and they just use the number(s) providd by that expert. So, you can avoid the "battle-of-the-experts" at trial. You save a lot of time, money, trouble, and anxiety. In typical litigation, you'd be using a team of analysts, accountants, appraisers, etc (and you spouse would have his team, as well) -- all of whom would have to be paid and you'd have to pay an attorney to work with each and every one of them. In the collaborative law, the attorneys agree on ONE person (maybe several experts to cover several areas). It CAN save a bunch. The other area where the collaborative process can be very beneficial is in custody conflicts. It's usually the case that the parties achieve LONG TERM stability and end up with a happier, healthier relationship vis-a-vis the children when they reach an agreement. This can be done through mediation or as a part of the overall collaborative process. It seems to me, however, that in your case, your husband may not be playing entirely fair in the collaborative realm. The most likely source of trouble would probably stem from his providing bad information to the "experts" and his exerting unfair influence on you to work with "his" experts rather than allowing your attorney to obtain a more neutral opinion as to values, abilities, potential, etc. It also seems unlikely that you two will EVER achieve any kind of stable trust regarding the children. If he's actually recording your discussions, it simply demonstrates that there is NO trust and, hence, an agreement is pretty unlikely. Questions? call -- 312-987-9999.

Asker

Posted

thanks. let me know what time is best for you this am and ill call. drop your little guy off.

Posted

i am curious who is the most expensive attorney in chicago. let us know. the good news for you is that your attorney can get the same fee his did.

collaborative may work if you have a strong attorney. if not, or if your husband insists his way is the only way, it probably will not work.

Asker

Posted

is that a joke about the fees? No,spouse always insists he is right, wont admit his own diagnosis, and is threatening not to pay and to have kids 50-50.

Elizabeth M. Feely

Elizabeth M. Feely

Posted

it's not a joke about the fees. Mr. Schlesinger is absolutely correct. We routinely encounter spouses that insist that they are always right and two diagnose their spouse with some mental disorder.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

Based upon the little you have described, a collaborative divorce will not work. The purpose of collaborative divorce is to keep the parties' information private and to keep them out of court. Both of those can be accomplished during the course of a "regular" divorce which does not require the services of numerous other professionals. Let the lawyers do their jobs. I was trained in collaborative divorce about 15 years ago and have found the model does not work well under Illinois law unless the parties are wealthy, reasonably amicable, equally strong and able to look at the process as a business venture. Hire a good lawyer. Most expensive doesn't make opposing counsel the best.

Luke D. Kazmar

Luke D. Kazmar

Posted

I think Mueller Davis has to be up there.

Luke D. Kazmar

Luke D. Kazmar

Posted

If he strays onto the arena of divorce, Dan Webb of Winston & Strawn would be up there as well.

Luke D. Kazmar

Luke D. Kazmar

Posted

Personally, I miss F Lee Bailey...not that he was a divorce lawyer

Gary L. Schlesinger

Gary L. Schlesinger

Posted

before or after he got disbarred?

Gary L. Schlesinger

Gary L. Schlesinger

Posted

asker, no, no joke. please tell us all who is the most expensive chicago divorce lawyer? i have some ideas but i want to hear or read who your husband chose.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

Me too.

Posted

Simply stated. No. In his mind, you are the problem. He's a bully and it will be an exercise in futility that will lead no where good. His demands are unreasonable as to custody/visitation. At least he has revealed to you his plans--no surprise tactics here. Forget the collaborative divorce, hire a very experienced divorce attorney who has had cases against his attorney and don't back down from what you and the kids need and deserve. .

Posted

Since your husband is not willing to collaborate about anything, neither a collaborative nor a mediated divorce is realistic. It takes 2 highly cooperative people, neither of whom is driven by suspicion or hostility.

The only reason your husband states he wants a collaborative divorce is because he has so much at stake [assets+alimony+child support...etc]

I recommend you bypass spending marital funds on collaborative lawyers until your husband's actions start matching his words.

The author provides the preceding information as a service to the public. Author's response, as stated above, should not be considered legal advice. An initial attorney-client conference, based upon review of all relevant facts/documents, will be necessary to provide legal advice upon which the client should then rely.

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