Divorce Mediation in Illinois Can Help You Avoid Litigation
When a married couple decides to end their marriage through divorce, there are many decisions which must be made. If the couple has children, schedules for child custody (technically called the allocation of parental responsibility) and visitation (parenting time) must be arranged. The couple will also need to decide how they will split their marital estate. Often, this involves deciding whether or not to sell the family home or assign it to one of the spouses. Couples must also decide how shared bank accounts, investments, vehicles, and valuables like jewelry or fine art should be divided.
Understandably, many divorcing couples struggle to communicate effectively about these issues. In these circumstances, divorce mediation can help facilitate communication between the spouses so they can arrive at an agreement.
Benefits of Mediation
Most divorcing couples wish to avoid courtroom litigation. Not only is litigation expensive and time-consuming but it can also be an intimidating environment and lead to escalated hostility between the spouses. Mediation allows couples to meet with a mediator and discuss their concerns about various issues related to the divorce. A mediator does not make decisions for the couple, but instead he or she encourages an open dialogue between the parties which allows them to make decisions for themselves.
Many divorcing couples find that having a mediator present during negotiation prevents the conversation from deteriorating into arguments or accusations. Often, couples are able to reach an agreement on divorce issues must faster with a professional mediator than they would have on their own.
Discussions During Mediation Are Confidential
The Illinois Uniform Mediation Act requires conversations had during mediation to stay confidential. This can bring a great deal of comfort to spouses and helps further promote honest discussion about divorce issues. Mediators are bound to confidentiality unless one of the spouses is threatening violence, mediation is being used to commit a crime, or there are concerns about ongoing child abuse.
Mediation is Not Appropriate for Everyone
Mediation is a wonderful tool, but it is not appropriate in every divorce. For example, when a significant imbalance of power exists between the spouses, mediation may not be enough to ensure that decisions made about divorce issues are fair and reasonable. In order for mediation to be effective, spouses need to be free of any intimidation or duress. If there is a history of abuse or domestic violence between the spouses, mediation is likely not the best solution. Mediation may also not be appropriate for couples who have struggled with addiction, substance abuse, mental illness, or dishonesty regarding finances.
Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney
To learn more, contact a knowledgeable Wheaton mediation or collaborative family law attorney at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC today. Call us at 630-665-7300.