Can Mediation Avoid Litigation in Divorce?
In Illinois, mediation as a means of resolving issues is becoming more prominent as people seek to avoid the costs of litigation. Mediation can be an effective means of resolving disputes that divorcing couples experience concerning property division and child-related issues. An experienced attorney and certified mediator can often present solutions to your divorce concerns while avoiding the unnecessary a time-consuming nature of litigation.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution, or Uniform Mediation Act as it is more commonly known, defines “mediation” as a “means or process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute.” The Act, listed in the Illinois Compiled Statutes under 710 ILCS 35/1 and its proceeding sections, provides the groundwork a mediator will follow.
In most cases, negotiations prior to a divorce will consist of each spouse and their representative, essentially acting as a four-party negotiation. This type of negotiation already presumes that the parties cannot agree on the division of assets or child custody concerns. A mediator, on the other hand, acts as a neutral third party to assist the spouses in reaching a beneficial agreement upon which both parties can agree, and it is becoming increasingly common for a court to order parties into mediation, especially when child custody is concerned.
What You Can Expect
Mediation is a non-binding process, which essentially means that decision making and authority rest entirely with the parties. Because of this, the parties to a mediation are often more satisfied with the outcome. Prior to mediation, the spouses will be informed of what information is privileged, what constitutes a waiver and preclusion of privilege, exceptions to privileged information, information can be considered confidential, and the nature of confidentiality in mediation negotiations. The mediator will also disclose any potential conflicts of interest if they exist, but generally there will likely be none.
Contact TodayIf you or someone you know is considering divorce, contact a Geneva divorce mediation lawyer who can act on your behalf to facilitate an agreement to resolve divorce related issues without litigation. Make certain to appoint a certified mediator, as they are trained to facilitate the most amicable agreements between the parties. Attorneys that specialize in mediation often handle post-decree custody and child support matters, and can assist parents in creating amicable solutions which meet not only their needs and wishes, but also those of the child or children at issue.