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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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Wheaton high conflict divorce attorneyMarried couples choose to divorce for countless reasons. Sometimes, spouses simply grow apart or realize that it was a mistake to get married in the first place. In these cases, spouses may not want to be married any longer, but they still have a high level of respect and concern for each other. On the other hand, some divorcing spouses are vengeful and combative. Divorces involving infidelity, deceit, domestic violence, or vindictiveness may require a very different approach than more amicable divorces. If you have reason to believe that your divorce might be hostile, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to start preparing yourself now.  

Consider a Guardian Ad Litem

Continuous divorces between parents may involve strong disagreements about child custody and visitation, which are called “the allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” in Illinois. Illinois courts make decisions in these areas based on what is in the child’s best interests. Unfortunately, some parents may attempt to sway the court’s decision in their favor by misrepresenting themselves or lying about the other parent. In some child custody disputes, a Guardian Ad Litem is assigned to the case to represent the children’s best interests and uncover the true facts of the case. The Guardian Ad Litem may do this by conducting interviews, evaluating parents’ homes and interactions with children, and analyzing financial information. You may want to request a Guardian Ad Litem if you have concerns about your spouse’s parenting abilities or if you want your child to have a specially-trained advocate.

Mediation May Not Be Your Best Option

Some divorcing couples who disagree about property division, child custody, spousal support, or other divorce terms are able to work out a solution to their disagreements through mediation. During divorce mediation, parties agree to work with a qualified mediator, negotiate in good faith, and collaborate with experts in order to reach a resolution. However, if there is a major power imbalance between the spouses, or if a spouse refuses to have reasonable discussions about divorce-related disagreements, mediation may not be a viable choice. It may be better for spouses to consult with their respective attorneys and formulate a divorce strategy personalized to their unique set of challenges.

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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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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyersWhile many divorces can be stressful and contentious, the vast majority of divorces can be settled amicably by the two parties involved. When a judge becomes involved in the divorce process, the outcomes are no longer in the control of the people impacted by them the most. If you and your former spouse believe you can work through the divorce process together, a collaborative law divorce may be the right choice for you.

Collaborative divorce is a process in which couples who have elected to file for divorce, can work with their lawyers to achieve a mutually agreed upon settlement. If you and your partner want to attempt to work through the collaborative divorce process, it is important to consult with your legal team to begin preparation for the process.

Preparing for a Collaborative Divorce

In order for a collaborative divorce to work smoothly, both parties must be willing to cooperate and compromise. While speaking with your legal team, they will likely prepare you emotionally for the process. Despite the fact that these divorces can usually be settled much quicker than the standard divorce process, it is important to come into the process with a strong level of patience. Remember that this process is incredibly difficult for your former-spouse as well.

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