Most people are familiar with the term “mediation” but may not know exactly what working with a mediator looks like. In an Illinois divorce case, understanding the mediation process is essential for setting realistic expectations and pursuing successful negotiations over your divorce settlement. If you are considering divorce and want to know more about whether a mediator could help you, read on to learn more about what working with a mediator is like.
What Does a Divorce Mediator Do?
Before a divorce can be finalized, spouses must reach an agreement about property and debt division, spousal support, and, if there are minor children involved, child support and child custody. Naturally, this can be difficult, especially if spouses have a hostile relationship. The purpose of mediation is to allow couples to put aside their personal differences and negotiate their divorce decree fairly.
A divorce mediator does not provide either spouse with legal advice. Instead, he or she will help spouses articulate their priorities and preferences on a given subject while keeping the conversation peaceful and focused on problem-solving. The mediator will help couples identify common ground, identify exactly where their differences lie, and think about possible solutions to those differences. Mediation can move quickly or take several months; it depends on how well spouses can get along and compromise. Many couples can resolve their issues in as few as three or four sessions, while others take much longer.
Couples seeking mediation typically each have an attorney as well. A mediator cannot act as an attorney or give legal advice to either spouse, even if he or she is also a divorce attorney for other people. The mediator’s job is exclusively to help couples communicate and compromise, while a divorce attorney will ensure the proposed settlement is fair and completed according to Illinois law.
How Can We Find a Divorce Mediator?
Some couples are appointed a mediator by an Illinois family law judge as part of their divorce process. This is most likely to happen when a couple is arguing over parts of their divorce settlement, cannot come to a resolution without some help, and the case is threatening to enter trial litigation. Whether the court-appointed mediators are as effective as private mediators is a question of some debate, but court-appointed mediation usually has time constraints in which a couple must try to resolve their issues. Private mediators, on the other hand, can be sought by a couple at any time and may be retained for as long as necessary.
Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Mediator
If you want to pursue a divorce strategy that minimizes conflict and reduces your children’s exposure to long, drawn-out divorce proceedings, mediation may be right for you. You can begin the mediation process whenever you are ready by calling [[title]] and scheduling a free limited consultation with our Cook County divorce mediation attorney. Call us today at [[phone]].