On May 26, 2017 the Illinois House unanimously passed the Uniform Collaborative Process Act, 113-0. In today’s political climate, having a bill passed with some bi-partisan support is unusual. Getting the bill to pass unanimously shows how important the Collaborative Process is to the people in Illinois.
The Collaborative Process is one of the options that couples going through a divorce can choose to use. The focus of the Collaborative Process (sometimes called Collaborative Law) is to help both people get what is most important to them in a way that helps the couple focus on their future. Thus far, the Collaborative Process has been used in Illinois by relying on other laws and the process has been applied in several different ways that can confuse the consumer and waters down the intent of the process in the first place.
One of the hallmarks of the Collaborative Process is that ALL professionals agree up front that they will be disqualified from working with the parties after the Collaborative Process is completed. This ensures that all the professionals are working with the clients to reach mutually agreeable terms and that the neutral professionals (financials like myself or mental health professionals) remain as neutral parties that are there to support both clients throughout the process.
If passed by the Illinois Senate and signed by the Governor, the Uniform Collaborative Process Act will formalize this requirement and result in more protections for the people and professionals that choose to use the Collaborative Process.