We occasionally feature our members (Fellows) so that you can learn more about the, Collaborative divorce, and our organization.
Name: Diane Elliott
Title: Owner of Law Office of Diane E. Elliott
Where do you practice Collaborative Divorce?
My practice is based in DeKalb and Kane County, but with the advent of so much legal work being performed on ZOOM, I certainly am willing to take cases in other counties, if we can conduct meetings via Zoom.
What do you find rewarding about practicing Collaborative Divorce?
My favorite part of being an attorney is working one-on-one with individuals as the journey through the life changes required as part of that journey. Seeing my clients gain confidence in their decision-making as they face new choices about changing their lives is very satisfying to me. Especially in cases where one person wants the divorce and the other does not, supporting those clients during this hard time is rewarding to me.
When you are not hard at work practicing in the Collaborative world what do you do for fun?
I try to exercise on a regular basis, I walk my two dogs and I read for pleasure. I also love to spend time with my daughters. My daughter, Libby is developmentally disabled and lives with me. My other daughter, Jessica is married and lives in New York City with her husband, Joe and my adorable granddaughter, Zarina. Libby and I travel to visit them as often as we can.
What tips do you have for couples considering divorce?
My divorce tip comes from my personal experience as a participant in a high-conflict divorce which happened over twenty-five years ago. If you have children, you are never really done with one another. For your children’s sake, it is best to try to view the dissolution of your marriage as the dissolution of a business, and as hard as it is to do, remove emotion from the process. I believe that most parents continue to want to be involved in their children’s (and eventually, grandchildren’s lives) in an intimate and caring way. It is up to the parents to model for their children the behaviors that make it possible for ALL of you to continue to enjoy time together. This is a major challenge, even after so many years, in my family.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
I believe Collaborative Divorce is putting the financial and emotional health of all members of the family first – and working together to come up with creative and viable solutions that are designed to work for that family – a custom approach based on the family’s needs.
Is Collaborative Divorce expensive?
The costs can be about the same as a litigated divorce, or less (or more) depending on the needs of the parties. The difference is the parties are spending money working toward targeted solutions that work for their family. There is discussion. There are different points of view exchanged and varying perspectives are considered. Parties to the case are determining how their financial resources are spent rather than spending money litigating.
Tell us something interesting about you.
COVID has allowed me to refocus parts of my life, which I am grateful for. Quilting has long been an interest of mine – my paternal grandmother quilted and I have some of her quilts and unfinished blocks. With the space the pandemic created, I have learned to quilt, which I have found a very creative process. My brain is used in a different way! Also, I am an avid vintage Barbie collector and have quite a collection of vintage dolls and ephemera. In 2022, the National Barbie Collectors Convention, “Decade of Destiny” is being held in Chicago and I am lucky enough to be on the planning team. It is going to be a great experience, celebrating the 1920’s!
Law Office of Diane E. Elliott
PO Box 259
DeKalb, IL 60115