According to Collin, most people are interested in how long the case is going to take and how much it’s going to cost.
Collin said, “Ultimately the cost and length of any cases depend upon the complexity in terms of the issues that are being contested. So I try to advise clients that ‘reasonable-ness’ is really the key – because if you are willing to negotiate in good faith, there’s a much greater likelihood that we’re going to be able to resolve the case more quickly. If you dig in your heels and you’re stubborn about everything, it’s going to make it much more difficult, and the case is going to drag on and probably become much more expensive. So I try to educate the clients in terms of what the process is going to be and I try to create realistic expectations because I think a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about how the law works – from a practical standpoint, as well as what they may or may not be entitled to”.
When host Mark Imperial asked, what is the biggest misconception about Divorce that you hear from prospective clients? Collin answered, “I think in terms of the division of the marital estate, people are under the misconception that if their spouse did something wrong; if they’re a jerk or a bad person or whatever they think, that somehow they’re going to be entitled to a greater portion of the marital estate, and it doesn’t really work that way. I tell people Illinois is now a no fault state, which basically means that there’s only one ground for divorce that’s irreconcilable differences. Any other behaviors that may be considered negative don’t really have much of a bearing in terms of how the marital status is going to be divided – Other than the fact that when one spouse is having an affair, they could be potentially guilty of dissipation of marital estate, meaning that they’re spending marital funds on a third party that’s not benefiting the family. In that instance, that party may be liable to reimburse the other party for their dissipation of the estate”.
During the Interview, Collin shared a principle to follow if divorcing couples want to have a Stress-Free Divorce, explaining, “I think it really comes down to emotional maturity, to be honest. I think that people who are willing to work together and can kind of think rationally are the ones that can make the most informed and reasonable decisions. And those are the cases that tend to be the least (stressful).
As I said before, people who are really stubborn, or who want blood; spiteful; vindictive -those are the cases that turn into bloodbaths because no decision can ever be agreed upon, parties can’t agree as to what day it is typically. And those are the cases that really stretch out and cost a lot of money. So I would say it’s emotional maturity ultimately”.
Christian Collin Christian Collin is a Family Law Attorney with the Collin Law Office, based in Chicago and LaGrange, IL.
The interview concluded with Collin saying, “I hope that this is not considered a self-serving statement, but I would implore anybody to not represent themselves pro-se unless it’s a completely uncontested case – meaning there are no children; there are no marital assets, etc. I would not recommend that somebody try to represent themselves because it can be a very complicated process and there are a lot of things to know in terms of advocating for a position that you can’t necessarily learn on the Internet. It really comes down to a practical experience, being in the courtroom every day…if the case is somewhat involved, I certainly would suggest that they retain counsel as opposed to represent themselves pro-se”.
Listen to the full interview on Remarkable Radio at: https://www.wckg.com/remarkableradio/christian-collin/
To learn more about Christian Collin visit https://www.collinlaw.com/