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Dear Parents, 

The Legal Solutions team understands that you have questions regarding COVID-19 and the impact it has upon your family. Remember, through your children, you are family forever AND children’s best interests are served by having parents who love them and can work together to keep them safe. 

Reasonable people can, and do, disagree about how to approach the current pandemic crisis. This is true for families with married and unmarried parents alike. Keep in mind that this is stressful for all and it is our responsibility to do the very best we can to care for one another.



The Collaborative Process Act, Senate Bill 67, was signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 18, 2017, and while this news had left some family lawyers skeptical, wondering whether it affected them at all, or how it differed from mediation; long time Collaborative Professionals recognized the Act as a substantial step toward the paradigm shift of collaborative practice and its expansion here in Illinois. The law became effective on January 1, 2018 followed by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 294 on July 1, 2018, completing the process of Illinois joining 15 other States and the District of Columbia in utilizing some version of the Act.[1] While collaborative practice laws only exist in a small number of States, the Collaborative model is practiced, in some form, in every State in the U.S. and in an estimated 25 countries globally.

According to Margaret Bennett, an Illinois Family Law Attorney and drafter of family law legislation, "The passage of the Illinois Collaborative Process Act is the final phase of the complete overhaul of Illinois family law statutes. The Illinois Collaborative Process Act follows the rewrite of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the Parentage Act of 2015 and the new income shares child support legislation. Illinois is now one of the leaders in child centric and family focused legislation."

The History of Collaborative Practice

Lawyers working in a collaborative manner, negotiating in a way that results in mutually acceptable agreements surely is as old as the profession itself. The use of such interest-based negotiations is thoroughly described in National bestselling book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton.[2] Collaborative Law has developed over the past 25 years since founded by Stu Webb, a Minnesota family law litigator who in 1990, declared himself a "collaborative lawyer," and began representing clients solely for the purpose of negotiation. Later, in the early 1990s, Pauline Tesler, a California attorney introduced Stu Webb's "Collaborative Law" to a group of family psychologists and financial professionals who were working on an interdisciplinary approach to divorce. The two approaches blended to form the Collaborative model widely utilized by practitioners today.

9.2Rachel Nicole Hernandez Kane County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association NIU
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