Hinsdale, IL divorce lawyerWhen filing for a divorce, you must make many major decisions. One of these includes choosing between litigation and mediation. Remember that every case is different, so it is important to understand how each procedure works and if it meets your needs. This article explains what mediation and litigation mean for an Illinois divorce and their role in various situations. 

What Is Mediation?  

Mediation involves trying to create a mutual agreement between divorcing spouses about property division, child custody arrangements, spousal support, etc. This allows couples to try to manage their differences themselves to gain more control over divorce-related decisions. 

Negotiations and discussions happen in front of an unbiased, third-party professional called a mediator. This person advises divorcing couples throughout the process while ensuring the negotiations are done collaboratively. They also make sure each party benefits from the outcome. 

Most couples choose this process because of its flexibility and efficient nature. It can also be faster than the traditional divorce process. Having said that, you should still have an attorney giving you advice, advocating for your interests during negotiations, and helping complete paperwork correctly.

What Is Litigation?  

During litigation, the judge assists the couple in resolving disputes over property division, spousal maintenance, parental responsibilities, etc. The litigation process is often lengthy and difficult.  A divorce attorney represents you in court and helps you navigate the legal procedures related to the trial, including discovery and giving testimony. They advocate for your rights and help you make a strong case before a judge. Your attorney will carefully present evidence, question your spouse’s evidence, and make strong arguments on your behalf to support your claims.

Note that amid litigation, couples always have the opportunity to reach a resolution out of court. Even during the trial process and after completing the discovery phase, judges in Illinois frequently hold hearings to encourage couples to reach a settlement and prevent litigation.

There has been a noticeable shift in how courts approach divorce cases in Illinois in recent years. The state has started prioritizing alternatives to litigation whenever feasible. It is worth highlighting that judges typically mandate divorcing couples to attend mediation and actively encourage them to settle before allowing the case to proceed to litigation. As a result, the majority of divorce cases are resolved without the need for formal court proceedings.

Choosing the Right Approach for Your Divorce in Illinois 

Mediation is ideal for an uncontested divorce, especially if the couple ends their marriage on good terms. An amicable relationship allows both parties to respect each other’s wishes. Each party can listen attentively to the soon-to-be-ex-spouse and make decisions with minimum conflict. 

However, this approach may only be feasible for some. Other couples may need to pursue litigation. For example, high-conflict divorces, especially those with a history of domestic violence, require legal intervention through a trial. The court can ensure that an abusive spouse does not dictate the conditions of the marital property division or child custody arrangement. Litigation may also be necessary for high-asset divorces to support the equitable distribution of marital assets based on the divorce laws in Illinois. 

Whether you choose mediation or litigation, having a divorce lawyer by your side can help you make an informed choice regarding sensitive matters.  They ensure that you receive the legal support required to maximize your chances of reaching a favorable outcome at the end of any proceeding. 

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney 

Both mediation and litigation have pros and cons. If you plan to file a divorce, know your options and how each approach will impact the legal process. Consulting a lawyer can make it easier for you to navigate the complicated aspects of this journey. Dial 630-920-8855 today to contact the DuPage County divorce lawyers from the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio to learn more.