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Divorce Mediation: Is it the Right Option for You?
For some couples, the decision to divorce is a mutual agreement. When both parties are willing and able to cooperate, the use of mediation may be appropriate. Moreover, mediation can help divorcing couples understand the laws governing divorce and ensure that all issues are addressed.
The Mediation Process
A mediator is a neutral third party who helps to facilitate conversation and negotiation between a divorcing couple. It is highly advisable to hire a mediator who is a licensed attorney with a specialized focus on family law. By using a mediator with these qualifications, a divorcing couple can better ensure that all issues are addressed.
During the mediation process, a couple will meet with the mediator regularly, usually in a conference room or office. Through a series of meetings or sessions, each issue relevant to the divorce will be addressed and negotiations will begin. Important issues that may need to be resolved include the distribution of marital assets and the determination of child custody and visitation. Once each issue is resolved, the mediator (or, in some cases, an attorney of one of the parties) will draft an agreement and, when necessary, a parenting schedule or plan. Finally, these documents will become part of the judgment officially ending the marriage entered by the court.
One of the greatest benefits of mediation is that it is cheaper than litigation. Additionally, the mediation process is confidential—there is no public record of what occurs during meetings. Also, the resolution of issues is agreed to by the divorcing couple, as opposed to having decisions potentially imposed upon them by a Judge. Therefore, it is more likely that the couple will abide by the terms of the agreement in the future.
It is important to note, however, that mediation is not for every divorcing couple. Mediation requires both parties to come together with a willingness to cooperate to reach an agreement. Therefore, if there is a history of domestic violence, mediation may not be appropriate due to the possibility of intimidation and the potential inability to calmly discuss the issues. A knowledgeable family law attorney can direct you as to what options are best for your individual situation.
Assistance with an Illinois Mediation
If you are interested in utilizing mediation in your divorce, or would like more information about the process, please contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney at MKFM Law to discuss your options. Call 630-665-7300 today. We look forward to speaking with you.