Formal court proceedings are not always the desired way to resolve a divorce case, but the good news for people wanting to keep cases out of court is that alternative dispute resolution (also known as ADR) may offer a solution. The general idea of ADR is to allow people a more cost-effective and less confrontational manner of resolving their divorce disputes.
Four forms of ADR are available in Illinois, although two are more common than the other two. Legal representation may be required for certain forms of ADR, but you should always be sure to consult with a skilled Naperville divorce lawyer before you agree to enter any form of ADR.
Mediation, Arbitration, Collaborative Law, and Pre-Trial Settlement
The main types of alternative dispute resolution available in Illinois divorces are mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, and a pre-trial settlement conference.
In mediation, a third party known as a mediator will not act as a judge but instead, try to facilitate communication between the spouses so they can reach an agreement on the disputed matters. Mediation can be scheduled to last several hours, and some spouses may have to attend several mediation sessions to reach an agreement. Mediation agreements can easily be converted to final orders through the court.
During arbitration, the third party will be known as an arbitrator, and unlike a mediator, an arbitrator does have the power to make decisions on contested matters. Arbitration essentially acts the same as a trial, and appeal options could be more limited in these cases.
750 Illinois Consolidated Statute § 90/1 is the Illinois state law establishing the Collaborative Process Act. The collaborative process is used to resolve disputes without intervention by a court. Participants have to sign a collaborative process participation agreement and be represented by lawyers qualified to practice collaborative law. Collaborative divorces involve multiple meetings between spouses to reach agreements on multiple issues.
Pretrial settlement conferences are meetings between spouses, their attorneys, and the judge. The purpose of the meeting is to try to settle the case instead of going to trial. Either spouse may request a pretrial settlement conference or a judge could also order one.
A judge will usually hear the arguments of both sides at a pretrial settlement conference and then discuss what they believe would be a reasonable settlement to the case. If neither party is willing to adjust its stance after speaking to a judge and no agreement is reached, the case proceeds to trial.
Contact a Will County, IL Divorce Attorney
Did you need help exploring your alternative dispute resolution options for a divorce in Illinois? Do not wait another moment to reach out to the Naperville divorce lawyers at [[title]] so you can get all of the help you need.
Our firm has experience assisting clients in various forms of ADR. You can call [[phone]] or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.