Tag Archives: divorce mediation

Wheaton divorce mediation lawyersWhen 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.

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divorce mediation, Illinois Family Law AttorneyFor 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.

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alternative dispute resolution, court ordered mediation, divorce mediation, DuPage County mediation law attorney, mediation, MKFM LawMediation is a part of a process known as alternative dispute resolution, which involves resolving issues outside of the courtroom. In child custody matters, mediation refers to a process where the parties to a divorce come together with a trained mediator to work out custody and visitation issues in their case. The mediator's role is one of a referee, facilitating communication between the parties as they work out the issues in their divorce, and how they would like to see them resolved. Mediators can either be appointed by the judge in the case, or agreed to by the parties. For divorces involving child custody/visitation issues in most counties, judges can and will order the parties to attend mediation through a Court Referred Divorce Mediation Program.

Court ordered mediation may be ordered in situations where the parties need to resolve issues of parental responsibility, custody, visitation, removal and access to children. In mediation, the parties can prioritize the needs of their children, explore their parental relationships, and come up with a parenting plan that works for the whole family. In order to further one potential goal of mediation, working out the child issues in a way that benefits all the parties, the parents are ordered to attend parenting classes. These classes can be very beneficial to parents, teaching them how to co-parent after the divorce.

Mediation May Not be the Best Option in Some Cases

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collaborative divorce, mediation, collaborative law, marriage, divorce, Illinois, DuPage County divorce lawyerMediation is a useful tool for all divorcing couples to help resolve issues related to the divorce outside of the courtroom. Mediation may have some added benefit, however, for Jewish women who are able to obtain a divorce in civil court, but who may be denied (by their husbands) a Jewish religious divorce , known as a “get.” According to the Huffington Post, this problem is becoming a crisis for Jewish women whose husbands refuse to allow a get. By utilizing mediation, however, women may be able to obtain both a civil and religious termination of their marriage. There are several reasons why the use of mediation may be a better alternative for women potentially facing this issue.

To start with, mediation can remove the potential for courtroom drama, which could cause an Orthodox religious man to feel embarrassed or that he is being treated unfairly (which could be reasons for denying a get). Additionally, instead of focusing on the civil litigation aspect of ending a marriage (which can cause anger, frustration, and resentment), mediation allows for the possibility of more creative solutions, tailored for the parties and created by them rather than by strangers. Having more control over life post-divorce through creative mediation settlements can also reduce some of the tension between a divorcing couple, allowing them to find more common ground. All of this could lead to a husband being more open to the idea of a get than by simply pursuing civil litigation alone.

Further, mediation puts women on a more even playing field with their husbands, as it is a neutral forum where each party has an equal voice. In cases with serious contentions over property or custody issues, refusing a get might be used as leverage by a husband. In mediation, however, because women have an equal voice and equal access to the neutral mediator, women may have a better chance of obtaining a fair outcome on those contested issues. Instead of each side strategizing against the other, couples are encouraged to work together and consider opportunities for compromise. And so, rather than inflaming the situation and having a husband dangle kids or money as leverage over a wife, mediation can help Jewish parties to minimize disputes and potentially work towards mutually agreed-upon provisions for a civil divorce as well as a religious get.

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Often in family law matters, including divorce, mediation can be a viable method for resolving disputes in a mutually-agreeable manner. The mediation process, governed in Illinois by the Uniform Mediation Act and by various local court rules, has a sole purpose – to provide a forum for reaching voluntary agreements between parties without resorting to contested litigation. According to DuPage County local rules, mediation is “an informal and non-adversarial process. The role of the mediator includes, but is not limited to, assisting the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem solving, exploring settlement alternatives and reaching an agreement.” When family law matters do arise, mediation can be the basis for creating a comprehensive agreement to help families move forward in the best possible direction.

Generally speaking, a mediator works with both parties to discuss the issues and facilitate the creation of solutions and arrangements that are agreeable to both parties. Because the mediator works with both parties, he or she must remain neutral and cannot advocate specifically for one side or the other. Although Illinois does not have a formal certification process for mediators, it is a good idea for parties to select an experienced certified mediator who uses best practices and ethics guidelines in conducting mediation. Having a well-trained, experienced, professional mediator can help parties avoid the difficult and stressful process of litigation and come to a prompt, amicable resolution of issues.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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