Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Collaborative Law Rule
Rule 294 Effective July 1
According to Rhys Saunders of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a rule that allows divorcing couples to work with lawyers on a limited-scope basis to try to reach an amicable settlement and avoid litigation.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 294 disqualifies attorneys serving in a collaborative process from representing clients if the process fails and the case goes to litigation. The rule also stipulates that when an attorney is discharged from a collaborative process, that lawyer’s entire law firm is also disqualified from representing the client.
“This is important, as the basic philosophy of collaborative law is to resolve family law issues away from court and [deter] lawyers from threatening contested litigation,” said Carlton Marcyan, who testified before the Illinois Supreme Court’s Rules Committee on behalf of the ISBA.
Collaborative law is designed to provide flexibility and allow those involved to create a solution that is unique to the needs of the family.
"The collaborative process option gives families, supported by trained professionals, the opportunity to restructure in ways that are future-focused and positive," said Sandra Crawford, an attorney who specializes in the collaborative process. “It promotes sustainable agreements, and it actively works to keep the best interest of the children, where there are children, front and center.”
For questions about the collaborative law process and whether it may be right for you, call 224.800.1351 to schedule a consultation with David Saxe, Naperville & Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney & Family Law Attorney.