How to Choose the Best Divorce Attorney in Chicagoland

Among the most challenging periods of everyone’s life, divorce takes the leading position as a time-consuming and emotionally draining experience.

To avoid unnecessary stress and prevent the unwanted outcome of your divorce procedure in Chicagoland, invest time and effort into choosing the best divorce attorney.

Here are the tips that will help you select the top divorce attorney for you and go through the process as smoothly as possible:

Choose a collaborative attorney.  

There are multiple methods of divorce dispute resolution. You can choose between traditional court litigation, mediation, collaborative divorce, or a cooperative approach. Accordingly, you can select an attorney specializing in these methods. However, collaborative divorce offers many benefits compared to other divorce approaches. During collaborative divorce, each spouse retains an attorney who establishes a cooperative and functional mutual relationship in helping you go through a divorce.  With the selected collaborative divorce attorney, a team is formed of collaboratively trained professionals who focus on financial decisions, mental health care and minor children if there are any present in the family. Instead of undergoing a stressful adversarial court process, collaborative attorneys work together to bring you a mutually beneficial settlement. At the same time, each attorney represents their client, who agrees to conduct themselves in good faith and invest honest efforts to reach the best possible outcome. The most significant advantage collaborative divorce has over other methods is that there is no adversarial fight that leaves emotional and financial scars on both parties. The collaborative divorce process helps you overcome this stressful period unharmed and continue living a healthy and productive life.

Location matters

If you live in the Chicago metropolitan area, you should narrow your choice to searching the collaborative attorneys practicing in Chicagoland. The location of the collaborative attorney is decisive because it affects other aspects of the process, such as the time and costs. Consider the travel time necessary to get in touch with your collaborative attorney. The distance between them and the other party’s attorney is equally important. Remember, collaborative law is about close cooperation between collaborative attorneys. That is why both your location and the collaborative lawyers’ location are vital. It determines the schedule as well the costs of the collaborative law process.

The costs

The first thing to ask is how much you can afford for legal assistance during the divorce process. Collaborative law, as an out-of-court method, can cost less thanexpensive than litigation. There are no court and administrative costs or discovery expenses. However, among collaborative attorneys, you can find various offers regarding the fees. Since fees vary and the variety of legal services you may need vary, it is important to speak with each potential attorney to obtain a better understanding of the potential costs involved with collaborative divorce. In searching for the best option for you, seek a balance between the costs and the quality of service you receive.

Look for references

As part of your quest to find the best collaborative attorney, use all available resources. First, check the lists of attorneys associations and examine the references of their members. Next, search online to explore collaborative law firm websites and see their client impressions. Ask your friends, other attorneys, and professionals for their opinion and recommendation. Combining online results, other clients’ impressions and your acquaintances’ recommendations will give you a complete list of prospective candidates.

Style and approach

While collaborative law is cooperative by definition, different attorneys take different approaches to resolving the dispute. Each attorney obliges themselves to fully cooperate with the other party in reaching a mutually beneficial settlement. However, there are different nuances and levels of engagement in achieving such a goal. You should seek a collaborative attorney with a proven record of bringing positive outcomes to the disputed parties. Examining references, reviewing their past cases, and interviewing prospective candidates will narrow your choice of collaborative attorneys whose style and approach suit you best.

Style and approach

Ethical standards

Collaborative attorneys differ from litigation attorneys in their approach to the dispute. Instead of engaging in an adversarial fight over who wins the case, they work together on a carefully selected professional team, to bring about a mutually beneficial resolution. In doing that, they have to adhere to strict ethical standards. All their work must be part of sincere efforts in reconciliation. Also, confidentiality is of utmost importance. If the collaborative process fails to achieve its purpose, the attorneys cannot represent the spouses in future litigation. In choosing the best collaborative attorney, pay special attention to how your prospective candidates handle the ethical problems.

Final decision

The list of your prospective attorney candidates should acknowledge all the factors discussed above. Choose the best candidate considering the location, fees, credentials, style, and ethical standards of attorneys on your list.

Why Choose Brigitte Bell?

Identified as one of the best lawyers in America, by Best Lawyers,  Brigitte Schmidt Bell is an Illinois collaborative attorney with over 30 years of experience. She is one of the founders of collaborative law in Illinois and is specially trained to engage in collaborative divorce cases. Her work philosophy focuses on non-adversarial and problem-solving strategies. In her commitment to non-vindictive dispute resolution, she sees her mission in fostering feelings of self-respect and integrity in her clients, helping them bridge the emotional and psychological crises involved in any divorce.

If you are considering a collaborative divorce approach, or if you would simply like to learn more about collaborative law, you should contact Brigitte Schmidt Bell.  She can help you determine if a collaborative divorce approach is the right strategy for your circumstance.

© 2022 Brigitte Schmidt Bell, P.C