Increasingly, collaborative divorces seem to be a popular method of ending a marriage. Although heading to court remains an option, should this approach fail, some couples find that alternative dispute resolutions give them more power over the final terms of the divorce settlement. However, this approach is understandably not appropriate for every divorcing couple, and there are clear pros and cons to both methods of ending a marriage.

For those concerned about finances and the bottom line of how much a divorce will end up costing, staying out of court can be important. Even if money isn’t an issue or a factor, some couples in Illinois may have their reputations or privacy on the line and for that reason may wish to settle things in private. Alternative dispute resolutions like mediation or arbitration provide an arena for couples to sit down alongside their counsel and work out the details themselves. Ultimately, both parties must consent to any agreement that they may reach.

While keeping things out of the courtroom may work for some, this is not a reality for everyone. Those who suspect that an ex might be hiding assets or concealing bank records may have much more on the line to lose by avoiding court. This can make the extra time that it typically takes to complete a divorce through court worth the wait. 

Just as most people expect that marriage will differ from couple to couple, it may also be expected that divorces will have different needs. A careful review of financial, personal and even emotional needs can provide valuable insight into how an Illinois couple might proceed in order to reach the most agreeable settlement possible. This often includes determining whether couples can successfully complete a collaborative divorce through alternative dispute resolutions, or if heading to court might be more beneficial.

Source:, “How to avoid a nasty and costly divorce war“, Constance Gustke, Feb. 26, 2015