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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.

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In every family law case involving children, the judge is required to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. The phrase "best interests of the child" can seem vague and difficult to understand. However, when judges are evaluating parenting time and allocation of parental rights options, there are many factors that are always considered.

Factors Judges Consider

The law requires judges examine all the relevant factors when deciding what is in a child's best interest. This gives judges the power to consider almost anything related to the child. Major factors that judges consider when deciding what is in the best interest of the child include:

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Posted on in Child Custody

A contentious divorce can be hard on everyone involved. However, children are especially vulnerable. If there is a dispute over the allocation of parental responsibilities in a divorce, the parents need to work hard to protect their children from feeling like they are pawns, or that they have to choose between their parents.

Keep the Routine Stable

A divorce or custody dispute often causes a lot of upheaval for everyone. The more stable you can make your child's daily routine, the more secure the child will feel about the new changes. The child should continue to attend the same school, participate in the same activities, and associate with the same friends as much as possible.

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Even though same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States, there are still unique issues facing same-sex couples in Illinois family law courts. When there is a case involving the allocation of parental responsibilities, formerly known as custody cases, same-sex couples may face challenges in getting the parenting time they deserve.

The Legal Rights of Biological Parents

In most instances, the biological parents are presumed to be the legal parents of a child. If someone is not a legal parent, he or she has very few rights regarding a child. He or she may not even be awarded court ordered parenting time.

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A prenuptial agreement is one of the best documents you can have for your retirement. Most people begin hitting their peak earning years after the age of 40. This is also the time many people begin to seriously plan for their future retirement. A prenuptial agreement is a way to make sure that both spouses protect their future financial interests.

Divorce Trends

Overall divorce rates have stabilized over the past several years. However, divorce rates have increased for those over the age of 50. There are several factors in play. One factor is that many people over the age of 50 are on a second marriage.

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