Is Mediation Right for Your Divorce?
Given the current backlog in Illinois courts, many couples are choosing to forego the traditional court case when they divorce, opting instead for alternative methods such as mediation or collaborative divorce. There are multiple reasons that many are choosing to eschew the courts, but perhaps the most common is because mediation is arguably easier and less time-consuming. However, it is not for every couple, and doing research on the issue will help you decide what is best for you.
Advantages of Mediation
For many couples, the advantages of mediation are numerous. If you and your spouse are able to discuss issues amicably, mediation can be cost-effective and efficient, as you will essentially be drawing up your own divorce decree. The mediator is simply there to guide you and advise on any relevant points of law. If this is possible for you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse, you may be able to avoid the significant time and money investment, to say nothing of the psychological cost, of going to court.
Another significant advantage of mediation over a courtroom setting becomes apparent if a couple has children. A courtroom situation is often adversarial due to the nature of the process. However, this can scare and even traumatize young children. Mediation can set a better example, especially if children can see their parents working together, talking things out, and trusting the mediator to help them both.
As one might imagine, one of the biggest disadvantages with mediation happens if you and your ex-spouse cannot be in the same room together. If your divorce is acrimonious, you will almost certainly be unable to agree on issues like maintenance or parenting time, and it is best to seek legal counsel for each person. Mediation is for couples that can collaborate, and if there has been personal trauma such as cheating or domestic abuse, no collaboration will be possible.
One other issue is that, in Illinois, if mediation or other alternative dispute resolutions do not succeed, the spouses have the option of going to court. However, unlike with most legal proceedings, no expectation of privilege for anything said during mediation can be expected. Since you have been trying to collaborate, you were obligated during mediation to disclose all relevant information to your spouse. Thus, no privilege can exist because you have either told them everything anyway, or you have not acted appropriately and can be punished for your omissions.
Ask an Experienced Divorce Attorney
For some, mediation is a superior alternative to a traditional court case. If you think it might be right for you, contact an experienced divorce mediation attorney in Geneva, Illinois. Call 630-232-9700 for a confidential consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today.