Finding Support Through a Chicago Collaborative Divorce
Divorce can be an extremely difficult time full of complicated legal processes and high emotion. For Jessica, a 41-year-old pharmacist and mother of one living in Chicago, IL, her divorce was full of complexity. Yet through collaborative divorce, Jessica and her estranged husband Mark found a peaceful path forward focused on their child.
Jessica had hoped to dissolve her marriage cooperatively from the outset. With the guidance of Attorney Lea Diaz, knowledgeable in collaborative divorce, they helped Mark shift from his initial adversarial stance. In the end, they reached an amicable settlement through interest-based negotiation.
Jessica had been working as a pharmacist in New Berlin for over 10 years. She was passionate about helping patients understand their medications and improve their health. Though she worked long hours, Jessica always prioritized time with her 8-year-old daughter Zoe.
Jessica’s leadership role managing her pharmacy started shortly after she married Mark. In the beginning, Mark was supportive of Jessica’s career. But over time he grew jealous of her professional success. Arguments arose frequently – Mark refused to acknowledge Jessica's role as breadwinner while also providing most of the childcare.
After a heated dispute, Mark abruptly moved out and immediately filed for divorce unilaterally. Jessica was stunned and devastated. She had suggested marriage counseling, hoping to avoid permanent separation. However, Mark would not reconsider. The divorce proceedings significantly disrupted Jessica's life. As co-owners of the pharmacy, she and Mark had to untangle this asset. Mark also initially pursued full custody of Zoe, though he had minimally participated in raising her. Jessica was distraught navigating the divorce alone. She sought legal assistance not just dividing their property but also maintaining an amicable co-parenting relationship for Zoe’s wellbeing.
Attorney Lea Diaz recognizes how debilitating adversarial divorce disputes can become. She understood Jessica’s goal was reaching a cooperative settlement to minimize trauma on their child. With extensive knowledge of collaborative cases in Cook County, Lea grasped the potential for interest-based negotiation, despite Mark’s initial aggression. Her aim was guiding both parties toward mutually acceptable resolutions without prolonged court battles.
With Lea’s guidance, Jessica came to understand Mark’s perspective better, allowing them to communicate more effectively. Lea also helped Mark realize the futility of using Zoe as leverage and the value of preserving their family relationships. After months of transparent collaboration, Jessica and Mark hashed out an acceptable divorce settlement. They agreed to amicable terms related to property division, finances, and shared parenting responsibilities guided by Zoe’s best interests.
For any couple dissolving a marriage, the collaborative divorce process can foster mutual understanding and respect. With experienced attorneys present, spouses can thoughtfully co-create agreements, rather than fighting bitterly in court. Lawyers trained in interest-based negotiation help clients identify shared priorities and work through resentment. Participating in collaborative law also offers more flexibility than litigation. Jessica and Mark avoided rigid court constraints, instead tailoring solutions that worked for their family.
Embarking on divorce collaboratively promotes possibility thinking and optimism. Jessica was able to acknowledge Mark’s positive traits as Zoe’s father rather than making him out to be the opposition. They re-established a cooperative co-parenting relationship.
Above all, collaborative divorce upholds the wellbeing of children. Parents act in the kids’ best interests, recognizing that they will continue to be part of one another’s lives forever. The process spares children from witnessing bitter court battles that generate lasting trauma. For any couple seeking a harmonious divorce, the collaborative option offers a calm, dignified path forward. Contact Lea Diaz to explore whether this approach could benefit your family.
The names and scenarios in this article have been modified to protect attorney-client confidentiality. This story illustrates the types of issues our legal team can assist with. We do not disclose case specifics or outcomes.