630-462-9500

After Hour New Client Telephone Number 630-690-6077

1776 S. Naperville Road, Building B, Suite 202,
Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in divorce mediation

Posted on in Mediation

Dupage County family law attorney for divorce mediationIf you are ready to end your marriage, you are probably looking for ways to eliminate drama, reduce legal costs, and reach a fair divorce settlement. In many cases, divorce mediation can help couples reach a resolution about the terms of their divorce without going to court. Divorce mediation is a process during which a couple works on addressing and resolving their outstanding legal issues with the help of a specially-trained mediator. During mediation, you and your spouse may discuss the division of marital property and debts, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, spousal maintenance, and other issues. However, it is important to understand what divorce mediation is and is not before deciding to use mediation as your primary means of reaching a resolution.

Myth: Your Mediator Will Make a Decision for You

A family law mediator is trained in conflict resolution, communication, and negotiation. He or she will help you and your spouse discuss any unresolved divorce issues and work with you to find potential solutions. A mediator does not choose one spouse’s side over the other or make any decisions on your behalf. His or her job is to ensure that divorce negotiations and discussions are as productive as possible.

Myth: Mediation Is Right for Everyone

Mediation can be an effective tool for resolving your outstanding legal issues and reaching a divorce settlement. However, mediation is not the appropriate choice for every divorce case. Mediation requires communication, transparency, and cooperation.  If a spouse is unwilling or unable to be honest about financial matters or other issues relevant to the divorce, mediation will not be effective. Mediation may also be inadequate or inappropriate for couples who own complex assets such as a family business, have a history of domestic violence, or simply cannot communicate well.

...

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.

...

DuPage County divorce mediation lawyerIn previous blogs, we have discussed the many advantages of divorce mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that is much less stressful and expensive than court litigation. When a couple disagrees about child custody, spousal maintenance, or other terms of their divorce, mediation can help them reach an agreement that works for both parties. However, mediation is not right for every divorcing couple. A qualified divorce attorney can help you decide whether or not mediation will be in your best interests while working to protect your rights throughout the divorce process.

Marriages Involving Domestic Violence or Abuse

The main element of any abusive relationship is an imbalance of power. An abusive spouse may use physical violence, threats of harm, intimidation, gaslighting, and other tactics to maintain power and control over his or her victim. It is important to note that domestic violence does not only include physical abuse. It can also involve financial abuse, emotional or verbal abuse, and sexual abuse. If a person is leaving an abusive marriage, divorce mediation is rarely recommended, because the imbalance of power makes a cooperative mediation process virtually impossible.

Divorce Involving Financial Fraud

Many divorce issues discussed during mediation involve finances. In order for spouses to negotiate the terms of their divorce, both spouses must be transparent and honest about the assets they own, the income they earn, and the debts they owe. If a spouse is hiding assets or lying about income, property, or debts, mediation may be a waste of time. Some spouses may even dissipate, or waste, marital assets prior to divorce by spending money on an affair, drug or alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, or for other reasons. If you have reason to believe that your spouse is lying about their finances or has dissipated marital assets, you should contact an attorney right away.

...

Wheaton divorce mediation attorneyThe end of a marriage is rarely without conflict, but some divorces involve more contention than others. If divorcing spouses cannot reach an agreement about issues such as asset division, child custodychild support, and spousal maintenance, the court will need to intervene. Courtroom litigation is typically more expensive, time-consuming, and stressful than alternative means of resolution like mediation and collaborative divorce. When spouses are able to put their resentments aside and work cooperatively to resolve divorce issues, they will likely save a great deal of time and money. Read on to learn about two alternative dispute resolution methods available to spouses getting divorced in Illinois.

Negotiating Issues With the Help of a Mediator

It can be nearly impossible for two people who are ending their marriage to remain objective and reasonable when discussing divorce-related concerns. Spouses may understandably have a great deal of pent up anger, sadness, or disappointment about the circumstances that led to the end of the marriage. A mediator can be a huge benefit to spouses who need help staying on track and remaining focused on the goal of resolution during divorce negotiations. The mediator’s job is not to deem either spouse’s ideas and opinions as right or wrong. Instead, the mediator facilitates a productive, cooperative discussion so that spouses can reach an agreement about divorce issues without the need for court intervention. Unlike court litigation, conversations had during mediation are confidential.

The Collaborative Law Process Offers Many Benefits

The collaborative divorce process may be right for couples who have disagreements about the terms of their divorce, but they are not completely opposed to negotiating the terms cooperatively and amicably. During the collaborative law process, both spouses and their respective attorneys hold a series of meetings to discuss divorce issues in a non-combative, constructive way. The spouses, their lawyers, and any other professionals participating in the process, such as child specialists or financial professionals, sign a contract called a “participation agreement.” This contract states that both spouses, their attorneys, and the other professionals involved in the process promise not to go to court. When courtroom litigation is off the table, the spouses and their legal counsel can focus on finding creative ways to reach a resolution. Everyone involved is encouraged to work together to reach a settlement, because if the case does proceed to litigation, the parties’ attorneys will withdraw from the case, and both spouses will need to find new legal representatives.

...

DuPage County divorce attorney for mediation and collaborative law

Often, when parents divorce, one of the biggest sources of contention is how they will share the allocation of parental responsibility, or child custody. Parents who get divorced in Illinois are required to submit a parenting agreement or parenting plan to the court which details how they plan to share custody of their children. Parents have the opportunity to formulate a unique parenting plan which works for them, but in some cases, parents cannot agree to a custody or parenting time schedule. When parents disagree about child custody issues, they have several options under Illinois law.

Mediation Can Help Parents Come to an Agreement About Child Custody

Illinois courts may order parents to undergo mediation in order to help them create a parenting plan to address custody issues, or parents may elect to undergo mediation on their own accord. Mediation involves the parents meeting with a neutral third party mediator to discuss how parental responsibility will be shared. The mediator does not tell the parents what to do, but instead helps facilitate productive conversation between the parents so that they can reach a compromise regarding child custody. It is important to note that mediation may not be an appropriate choice for parents with a history of domestic violence or abuse. Furthermore, if parents cannot negotiate or discuss child custody issues without devolving into arguments or hostility, mediation may prove fruitless.

...
Dupage county bar association Illinois state bar association American Bar Association Rotary Martindale Hubbell Top 40 Under 40 Best 10 Best 10 DuPage County Bar Association State Badge State Badge Avvo

Contact Us To Schedule A Consultation With An Attorney At Our Firm

Call 630-462-9500 or provide your contact information below and we will get in touch with you:

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
*
*
*
Back to Top