If you are planning to divorce and you and your spouse share children, you will be asked to agree on a parenting plan as part of the divorce process. The parenting plan, or parenting agreement, describes each spouse’s rights and responsibilities, including scheduled parenting time. Reaching an agreement about the terms of the parenting plan is often a difficult task for divorcing couples. Mediation is one type of alternative dispute resolution that is often useful in resolving disagreements regarding child-related issues such as the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.
Mediation Is Usually Less Expensive and Less Stressful Than Litigation
When a divorcing couple cannot reach an agreement about the terms of their divorce, the case may go to trial. Courtroom litigation can be an expensive and demanding process. Mediation is typically less traumatic for both parents and children, and considerably less expensive than litigation.
Mediation Allows Parents to Be in Control of Their Parenting Arrangement
If parents are able to reach an agreement regarding child custody through mediation, the parents themselves are the ones who will determine the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. When parents are deeply involved in making the child custody decisions instead of the decisions being handed down by a judge, they may be less likely to violate the terms of the parenting plan in the future.
Mediation Is Confidential
Many people are surprised when they learn that litigated family law cases are often open to the public. Most people value their privacy – especially when it comes to personal topics such as child custody. Mediation is a confidential process. The mediator and other parties present during mediation meetings cannot discuss the matters raised during mediation with anyone else.
Mediation May Improve Parents’ Ability to Cooperate in the Future
Parents are in a unique position when it comes to divorce. While spouses without children can simply walk away from the divorce and never speak to each other again, parents will continue to be a part of each other’s lives for years after the divorce. Mediation can be a valuable learning tool that helps parents understand how to reach compromises and discuss child-related matters cooperatively instead of contentiously. This can greatly improve parents’ ability to resolve any future parenting disagreements.
Contact a DuPage County Mediation Lawyer
Mediation can be a powerful tool for helping divorcing parents reach an agreement about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Although a mediator does not replace an attorney, our mediators have over 30 years of experience practicing family law. For help with your child-related disputes, contact Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC today. Call our office today at 630-665-7300 and schedule a confidential consultation with a qualified Illinois mediator or child custody attorney from our firm.