Mediation in Divorce – Benefits to Both Parties
Filing for divorce is almost always a difficult and time-consuming process for all parties involved. When the parties cannot agree on various terms and conditions necessary to the finalization of the divorce, such as how to divide assets, child support, and child custody issues, emotions can get hot. The “traditional” divorce involves litigating the matter within the court system. The process of traditional litigation ultimately means that crucial decisions are made by a judge, and not by the individual parties. In addition, a litigated divorce is often more costly and time-consuming than one settled through other channels.
As a result of these challenges, many couples are now choosing to turn to mediation to settle the issues that accompany any divorce, including division of marital assets, benefits from pension funds, maintenance, issues regarding child support, custody, and visitation.
Divorce Mediation in Illinois
In divorce mediation in Illinois, the couple works with a trained professional mediator who acts as a neutral facilitator. Mediation ultimately encourages the couple to work together and collaborate in order to make the divorce proceed as smoothly as possible.
During mediation sessions, the couple can voice their goals and concerns in the presence of the mediator. After both sides have had a chance to speak, the mediator will assist them in creating solutions that work for both parties. Often, in just a few sessions with a mediator, the entire divorce agreement and all the terms can be sorted out.
Some benefits of divorce mediation include:
- Lesser emotional impact (because mediation is private, both parties will not need to feel the harsh effects of a public divorce);
- The terms reflect a fair agreement that may appease both parties (In a standard divorce, the judge will look at the evidence presented and he or she will make a decision. This usually leaves one or both parties feeling slighted. A mediator can instead help come to a mutual decision with each spouse’s needs in mind.);
- The costs of the divorce can be greatly reduced;
- The divorce goes through quicker.
When choosing a mediator, look at factors such as training, experience, background of the mediator, fees charged, and reputation. Most importantly, both parties should make sure they are comfortable with the mediator's style and approach. For more information on mediation, take a look at the Illinois General Assembly - Uniform Mediation Act.
Get Legal Help
Consulting an experienced Illinois family law attorney can help you decide if mediation is the right option for you. While there are many benefits, in certain circumstances mediation may not be the best way to protect your interests. In fact, going into mediation without understanding how the process works and what you can do to protect your interests can lead to serious problems.
An attorney can assist you in preparing for mediation and answer questions about the process. Contact Nicholas W. Richardson today for a consultation. We represent clients in Palatine, Schaumburg, and many neighboring communities.