Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods in Illinois Divorce Cases
Ending a marriage can be a major legal undertaking. Divorcing spouses may need to address the division of marital debts and property, including retirement accounts, investments, real estate, and other property. If they share children, they will need to address the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time and create a parenting plan. Child support and spousal support may also be crucial issues in an Illinois divorce.
Fortunately, there are several alternative dispute resolution methods available for divorcing spouses in Illinois. These methods may help you reach a resolution without a contentious courtoom trial.
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution for legal issues that involves parties coming together to discuss their issues and try to reach a resolution on their own without court input. Discussions will be facilitated by neutral, third-party mediators whose roles are to help parties negotiate a workable settlement.
While a mediator may be in charge of the process, the parties will be in control of the outcome. A mediation is non-binding, so the parties are not required to reach a resolution, but there is usually an incentive to make it work because failure to resolve differences through mediation will send a case to court and only lead to increased costs.
Collaborative law is a formal divorce settlement process combining mediation and negotiation in which each party retains a lawyer certified in collaborative law. A unique aspect to collaborative law is that the parties will agree not to litigate, and attorneys will be ethically bound to abide by any agreement. Spouses engaged in a collaborative divorce also have the option to involve additional professionals in teh collaborative discussions. For example, a couple with significant investments or business interests may wish to consult with an appraiser or financial advisor during the collaborative process. Couples with complicated child-related disputes may wish to involve a child specialist or child psychologist in the discussions.
Hybrid mediation involves a single, two-step hybrid process combining mediation and the traditional divorce process. During the mediation phase, an attorney will work with both spouses to facilitate mutual agreements while representing one of the parties. The lawyer will take the agreement that was reached between the parties and draft the appropriate documents to see the case through to conclusion.
Contact a Kane County Mediation Lawyer
Are you hoping to use mediation to resolve your divorce issues? Make sure you get in touch with the Geneva divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates so you can understand what steps you will need to take.
Attorney Douglas B. Warlick has been a certified legal mediator for over two decades. You can call 630-232-9700 or contact us online to take advantage of a confidential consultation.