What Is Divorce Mediation?
Many times during a divorce process, rather than enduring litigation, couples will turn to mediation in order to help resolve conflicts and work out a mutually beneficial divorce settlement. It is often said that the method by which conflicts are processed and resolved will end up having a large influence on a family’s adjustment to the divorce. In divorce mediation, spouses meet with a neutral third party (the mediator) and work through any issues that need to be resolved in order to end the marriage as amicably and cost effectively as possible.What does a mediator do that the two of you cannot accomplish alone?
A mediator’s role is to help you and your spouse clearly define any issues you may have, keep all lines of communication open, and to promote discussion and resolution. This does not mean that the mediator will make all of your decisions or you, but rather, he or she will assist in bringing the issues to the table and making it possible to effectively deal with them.
Similar to a therapist, a mediator will keep all issues confidential. According to the Illinois General Assembly, there are a few pieces of information which a mediator may disclose, including:
- Whether the mediation occurred or has terminated;
- Whether a settlement was reached;
- Attendance; or
- A mediation communication evidencing abuse, neglect, abandonment, or exploitation of an individual to a public agency responsible for protecting individuals against such mistreatment.
Mediation is beneficial because it is flexible and gives spouses an easy way to settle any conflicts between them so that they may work together as parents, if they have children. Mediation is helpful in that it opens up communication, which can be used outside of mediation to deal with future issues.
If you and your spouse are on good terms, mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution may work for you. If you are going through a divorce and feel that divorce mediation may be beneficial for you, feel free to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to assist you.