Jenner & Block

"The Collaborative Divorce Process," The Family Institute at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL


Chicago, IL

Jenner & Block Partner James H. Feldman made a presentation on the Collaborative Divorce Process to the staff of The Family Institute at Northwestern University on December 17. Mr. Feldman is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for The Family Institute.  Jenner & Block Associate Pamela E. Bensmiller assisted in the presentation.

The Collaborative Divorce Process is a relatively new form of dispute resolution where attorneys for each of the parties in a divorce agree to assist them in resolving their conflicts and legal issues out of court using cooperative strategies rather than litigation and the adversarial techniques used in court proceedings.

Mr. Feldman specifically covered topics such as the background and status of the process locally, nationally and internationally, provided an explanation of the process, roles for mental health professionals, unique aspects including the “team" approach, determining which cases are appropriate for the collaborative process, differences between collaborative divorce and mediation, recent legal developments including ABA Ethics Opinion #07-447 (8/9/07) approving the process and the newly proposed Uniform Collaborative Law Act, the Firm’s experience with the process, the future of this process as an alternative to litigation, and websites and literature on the subject.

Mr. Feldman is a partner in Jenner & Block’s Chicago office. He is a member of the Firm's Litigation Department and is Chair of the Firm’s Family Law Practice. A family law practitioner at the Firm for more than thirty years, Mr. Feldman, and other members of the Firm’s Family Law Practice, offer a full range of family law services including litigation, collaborative law, mediation, and counseling, and have extensive experience handling sophisticated financial issues  including matters involving valuation and tracing of assets, executive compensation and benefits, tax planning, and complex support arrangements, as well as child custody and parenting issues.