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Non-Adversarial Divorce – What Exactly Does this Mean?

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Non-Adversarial DivorceAs a non-adversarial divorce attorney, people say to me: “Can you really advocate for your client if you are non-adversarial?” I interpret this to mean something along the lines of “Don’t you have to put on your boxing gloves to win?”

We use different language in our office. We dispense with a “win-lose” mentality and embrace the “win-win” approach. You’ll hear words like “taking responsibility,” “problem-solving,” “goal setting,” “transformation.”

A non-adversarial approach focuses on moving forward in your life. The past is the past and cannot be changed. How you respond is within your control, and during meetings, the attorneys and other professionals model communication and negotiation skills that clients can hopefully learn from and incorporate into their personal relationships going forward.

If both spouses are committed to full disclosure of their finances and want to be fair to one another, a non-adversarial approach will work – and will keep them both in the decision making conversation. When people actively engage in creating the solution, they are more likely to honor an agreement. So, the non-adversarial approach creates more durable outcomes.

Read more about non-adversarial approaches here, or watch a video about our approach.

Theresa Beran Kulat
About the Author
Theresa Beran Kulat, founder and lead attorney, has focused on Collaborative Practice and mediation since 2003 and limits her practice to settling cases. Her firm is recognized throughout the Collaborative law community as a compassionate, talented group of people committed to Collaborative Divorce with an extensive network of respected, professional colleagues. She is currently President of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois.

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