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What Do the Lawyers Do Differently in Cooperative Divorce?

In addition to the parties’ commitment to help themselves, the lawyers also commit to do their share to keep things sensible and cooperative. The lawyers join in to strengthen the parties’ resolve by:

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    Acknowledging and encouraging each client’s willingness to formalize his or her commitment to cooperate by entering into a Cooperative Divorce Law Participation Agreement;

  • Stressing the significance and potential value to each party of their receiving the other party’s promise to negotiate with respect and civility;
  • Encouraging their clients to problem solve their way through the conflict instead of fighting their way through it;
  • Joining together to subdue the disruptive, angry, or emotional outbursts of the parties;
  • Encouraging their client to take only sensible bargaining positions;
  • Agreeing to cooperate toward narrowing issues;
  • Encouraging their clients to keep an open mind when it comes to compromise;
  • Agreeing, whenever possible, to customize discovery requests to fit the case at hand; and,
  • Agreeing to treat their client’s spouse with respect and in a non-threatening, non-confrontational, non-accusatory, and non-argumentative fashion at all times, including, but not limited to, all instances of interfacing at four-way settlement meetings, depositions, court hearings, and meetings of any kind.


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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 Will counties.


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