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Wheaton divorce lawyerFamily law mediation is a process during which a divorcing couple attempts to resolve issues such as the division of assets, allocation of parental responsibilities, and spousal maintenance. The couple works with a specially trained family law mediator who helps them negotiate the issues, find common ground, and reach practical solutions. Mediation can be a very useful tool in reaching a divorce settlement; however, it is not right for everyone. There are some situations in which mediation may not be an appropriate choice. In cases such as these, it is recommended that the spouses work with their respective attorneys to reach a resolution about the terms of their divorce.  

Uncooperative Spouses  

Some married couples get a divorce and the split is mostly amicable. The spouses may still have some bitterness toward each other, but they are willing to put those feelings aside to focus on resolving their divorce issues. Other divorcing spouses have deep feelings of hatred or vengeance. If you and your spouse are not able to be in the same room without screaming at each other or your spouse simply refuses to cooperate, mediation may be futile. Mediation is also not the ideal choice when a spouse has a drug or alcohol addiction that prevents him or her from entering into mediation with a clear head.

Hidden Assets and Financial Deceit

The terms of a divorce are largely based on each spouse’s finances. In order for the spouses to determine a fair and reasonable division of property during mediation, each spouse must disclose his or her assets, income, and debts. The court also uses this information when calculating child support payments. If a spouse hides assets, underreports income, exaggerates debts, or otherwise lies about his or her finances, any resolution reached during mediation will be based on false information.

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Wheaton, IL divorce mediation attorneyWhen parents get divorced, determining child custody arrangements is often their top priority. It can be extremely difficult for parents who are used to seeing their children every day to transition to a parenting time schedule in which they only see their children part of the time. In Illinois child custody disputes, parents will need to make decisions about the “allocation of parental responsibilities” as well as the amount of time the child spends with each parent, called “parenting time.” Disagreements about these issues can quickly become antagonistic and unproductive. Mediation is one option for parents who are struggling to reach an agreement about child custody concerns. This method of alternative dispute resolution may help you and your child’s other parent reach an agreement about child custody and other child-related disputes. There are a number of good reasons to consider mediation, including:

Mediation Does Not Take Place in the Courtroom

Litigation is typically much more expensive than mediation. Furthermore, the formal courtroom setting can make some parents focus on “winning” instead of trying to find a solution that is in their child’s best interests. By working to reach agreements outside of the antagonistic format of court proceedings, parents may be able to resolve disputes much more quickly and easily. In addition, mediation is also a confidential process, as opposed to the public setting of a courtroom.

Parents Are More Likely to Comply With the Parenting Plan

During mediation, parents negotiate a mutually-agreeable child custody arrangement with guidance from a trained mediator. The mediator helps facilitate productive discussion, but he or she does not tell parents what to do. Ultimately, any parenting arrangement that results from mediation will be the product of the parents’ negotiations, and in some cases, parents may also consider input from experts such as child development specialists. When parents have a hand in creating their own parenting plan, they are much more likely to abide by the decisions contained in that plan.

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Lombard divorce mediation attorneyWhile many people think that all divorces are hostile and aggressive, couples are often able to work together to end their marriage in an amicable manner. Here in the United States, divorce mediation is a commonly used strategy to negotiate a divorce settlement. Mediation is a process in which you and your spouse work with your attorneys and a third-party mediator to resolve the outstanding issues surrounding your divorce. If you believe that mediation is the right decision for you and your family, speak with your legal team regarding your options moving forward. 

The Role of the Mediator 

Many people disregard the option of mediation due to misconceptions they have related to the role of the mediator. During mediation, the mediator will assist you and your spouse through discussions and conflict resolution. It is important to note that the mediator will not make decisions for you and your spouse but will instead work to help you resolve issues in a mutually beneficial manner. Once an agreement has been reached between the two parties, the final agreement will be presented to the judge for approval. 

The Benefits of Mediation 

There are many positive aspects of pursuing mediation. It can expedite the divorce process, save you money, and develop a foundation for you and your spouse to establish a new relationship moving forward. Even more beneficial is the manner in which mediation can impact the nuanced aspects of your divorce. When it comes to financial issues, mediation can allow both parties to reach an agreement that will allow you to meet your ongoing needs. If children are involved, parents can work to reach an amicable child custody agreement that will ensure that the children can maintain a relationship with both parties. If you and your spouse are interested in pursuing mediation, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process. 

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b2ap3_DuPage County mediation attorneysDivorces can be uniquely challenging to separating couples. Recognizing the need for a life change, and grappling with the emotion of the change can be two completely different things. Combine the emotional side of a divorce with complicated matters such as issues of child custody, property division, and allocation of finances, make one thing abundantly clear: when going through a divorce, everyone needs a little help. The first step you can take as you prepare for the divorce process is hiring an attorney that you can believe in.

After hiring an attorney, your legal team will begin to discuss your options. If you and your former spouse believe that you can amicably discuss the matters mentioned above, your best option may be to mediation. Here in the state of Illinois, family mediation is an alternative resolution option to divorce litigation.

What is Mediation?

With the assistance of a neutral mediator, couples throughout Illinois can amicably resolve conflicts such as child custody, alimony payments, and asset division, through mediation. The neutral third-party-mediator is present to help offer mutually beneficial resolutions and assist in communication. In some cases, mediation can be mandated by the Illinois Supreme Court. In cases involving minor children, couples in Illinois are required to pursue mediation on issues including custodial responsibilities and child support. Due to the important nature of these conversations, it is crucial to ensure that your legal team fully understands all aspects of your divorce case. Having honest and informative conversations with your attorney can help them secure a vibrant financial future for you and your family.

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Although mediation is ultimately about compromising with your spouse, you can (and should) attempt to tilt the scales in your favor as much as humanly possible. After all, the odds are that your spouse will attempt to do the very same thing. Learn more about the strategies that you can use your divorce mediation with help from the following information.

Why Choose Mediation?

Mediation may not be the most favorable option for every divorce, but it can be highly beneficial for some. For example, spouses that have minor children may find that mediation offers a more amicable approach than a litigated divorce. Couples with a high net worth may also prefer mediation since it can drastically reduce costs and improve their settlement. Mediation can also lead to a faster conclusion of your case if you and your spouse are willing to compromise. Still, if you have questions about whether mediation may be appropriate for you, it is wise to discuss your options with an experienced divorce lawyer before moving forward.

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