We periodically feature our members (Fellows) so that you can learn more about them, Collaborative divorce, and our organization.
Name: Brad Pawlowski
Title: Attorney, Mediator, Litigator
Where do you practice Collaborative Divorce (i.e. in what geographical area)?
I’ve been an attorney for 23 years. I wear many hats as a meditator, litigator and collaborative fellow, but I use my mediation skills to assist my litigation cases and my litigation skills to assist my mediations and collaborative matters. My practice covers Cook, Lake, DuPage and McHenry Counties. I’ve been a member of the Collaborative Divorce community for many years. My membership in CDI is important, because the professionals associated with CDI maintain the gold standard in collaborative work and ongoing training.
What drew you to become a Collaborative divorce professional?
I was drawn to Collaborative Divorce unknowingly back in law school. While I was excited about the idea of litigating and the court room work that comes with it, my personality is much more conciliatory. Have been around the legal field for awhile before law school, I already knew the system was not set up for successful resolution. So when a certificate program in Alternative Dispute Resolution was offered, I jumped at the chance to learn better ways to use my legal skills to help people find their best end to any dispute. After litigating family law and commercial cases for several years after school, I was introduced to the Collaborative Process. It immediately resonated with my prior training and I haven’t looked back.
What do you find rewarding about practicing Collaborative divorce?
The most rewarding part of being a Collaborative attorney, is helping families navigate the difficult road of separation using what I know to be the most effective and efficient team oriented process. The Collaborative Process gives families the best chance to write their own future story, on their own terms and their own schedule. Knowing that the agreement they sign at the end is their own creation, I know that they will have a much better opportunity to stay out of future conflict.
What’s the difference between Collaborative divorce and a litigated divorce?
In litigation, the parties are largely on the court’s schedule (which is slow and unpredictable) and subject to the court’s decisions absent agreements. The court’s decisions are rarely perfect and hardly satisfy both parties. The Collaborative model allows for parties to make their own schedules, their own agendas and craft agreements that fit their family’s needs. I have seen first hand in comparing the final resolutions to litigated cases and collaborative matters, that the parties in collaborative matters have significantly less emotional and financial scars to themselves and their children.