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Sample Cooperative Divorce Law Participation Agreement

Law Firm of Kulerski and Cornelison

Illinois Cooperative Divorce Law

Agreement to Participate

We, ___________________________ and ___________________________, in an effort to minimize the negative effects and cost of our forthcoming dissolution of marriage, do hereby agree to cooperate with each other and to do our very best to resolve our differences by way of a mutually acceptable, out of court divorce settlement agreement.

To achieve this end, we agree to meet with one another regularly to have informal discussions regarding our individual settlement positions, concerns, and needs. We agree to listen to each other’s message without passing judgment on its merit. Even if we disagree with our partner’s position, we will validate their right to see things differently from the way we do.

If we hire our own lawyers, we agree to direct them to work with us toward reaching a non-contentious resolution. We anticipate doing this in four-way settlement negotiation meetings with both parties and both lawyers in attendance. We agree to cooperate toward making funds available to pay the lawyers.

We will direct our lawyers to keep our case as simple as is ethically permissible, and to avoid taking any action that would add any unnecessary tension or expense to our ordeal.

If we do go to court, we will conduct ourselves as respectfully and as non-confrontationally, as is reasonably possible, and we will direct our attorneys to do the same.

Except as may be otherwise agreed upon by the two of us, and except for any non-privileged statements or information that is independently discoverable outside of our negotiations, anything that we say, and any information that we provide during settlement meetings or associated emails, correspondence, phone conferences, or anything that our lawyers or experts say or prepare, shall be deemed as “settlement negotiations” and shall be afforded the identical protection that the laws of evidence commonly extend to settlement negotiations. As such, all statements, information, and writings shall be excluded from evidence, and shall not be considered in any legal proceeding.

Further, we agree to be mutually barred from calling as witnesses in any such proceeding the following individuals: any of the participating lawyers or any other divorce professionals or other experts that worked with us during the pre-court negotiation process, nor shall we attempt to subpoena them, nor seek the production of their files, notes, memos, or other writings pertaining to our divorce.

We acknowledge that the attorneys assisting us in the cooperative divorce process do so at the sole service of their individual client, and that their professional duties and responsibilities extend to that client only.

We realize that, even though the attorneys may often speak to and encourage us to work toward a compromise that would profit both of us they act independently from one another and represent only the interests of their respective client, and not the interests of both parties. With this in mind, we understand that our individual lawyer is acting in furtherance of our individual interests when and if they give advice that is in opposition to our settlement wishes or as to how our settlement position affects the other party’s concerns and/or their willingness to settle.

We specifically promise and agree to refrain from making any derogatory remarks about each other to our partner’s family members, our children, grandchildren, friends and acquaintances (whether mutual or not), and to all colleagues and neighbors.

We agree to review the Appendum to this Agreement to Participate and to exercise our best effort to act in full compliance with its suggestions in the hopes that we may achieve the appropriate, cooperative behavior that we pledge to use and display during our cooperative divorce.

We acknowledge that this Agreement is not legally binding, and we use it solely to symbolize our good will and mutual commitment to cooperate with one another so that we may resolve our marital differences out of court, while preserving our dignity and privacy.

Dated this ________ day of ________________ , 20___
____________________________                     _____________________________

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For More Information:

We welcome hearing from you and we invite your questions. There is no obligation. No one will ever know that we spoke or what we discussed. Everything you say is privileged, confidential, and completely classified. We do not maintain a mailing list and will not contact you unless you ask us to.

Calling us is easy. Ask for Richard or Kari (Oak Brook 630-928-0600), or email us at rk@illinoislegal.com or kc@illinoislegal.com.

If we are in court or in a meeting when you call, one of us will personally get back to you as quickly as possible. We are extremely discreet with callbacks and reply emails. Just leave your name and a secure email address or personal cell phone number.

Richard and Kari are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 60 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook, DuPage, and Kane counties.

OAK BROOK

1 S 660 Midwest Road Suite 320 Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

630.928.0600

630.928.0670

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We have lots of understanding and lots of coffee (or water).

Call 630-928-0600 to book your initial office consultation.

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