Should I Use Mediation During My Divorce?
If you are going through a divorce in Illinois, you may be wondering if mediation is the right option for you. Divorce can be a difficult and emotionally draining process, and many couples choose to use mediation instead of fighting legal battles in the courtroom. To determine whether mediation may be the right choice for you, it is important to understand how mediation works, the benefits it can provide, and the cases where it may not be the best option.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that allows couples to work together with a neutral third party to negotiate their divorce settlement. Unlike litigation, where decisions are made by a judge, mediation allows couples to retain control over the outcome of their case.
In Illinois, a couple may be ordered to use mediation by a family court judge, or they may choose to hire a mediator on their own. While each mediator may have their own process, most cases will involve both parties meeting together with the mediator, discussing the issues that will need to be addressed, and working together to reach agreements on the terms of their divorce settlement.
The Benefits of Mediation
Couples who choose mediation often find that it provides advantages such as:
- Less conflict: Since meditation encourages cooperation, it can help spouses communicate better and resolve issues while avoiding strife.
- Faster results: When divorces are resolved in the courtroom, they can take months or even years to finalize due to busy court schedules. With mediation, couples have more control over scheduling sessions, and this can speed up the overall timeline of the divorce process.
- Financial savings: Mediation is typically less expensive than litigation, since a couple will not be required to appear in court as often. This can allow the divorce process to be completed more quickly and efficiently.
- More flexible solutions: In mediation, couples can work together to find creative solutions that work best for them. This can result in agreements that meet the specific needs of each spouse and their children.
Reasons Why Mediation May Not Be the Best Solution
While mediation offers many benefits, it may not be suitable in every situation. Cases where mediation may not be appropriate include:
- A marriage with a history of domestic violence or abuse
- Refusal by one party to collaborate or negotiate in good faith
- A significant power imbalance between spouses in which one party feels intimidated or unable to express themselves
- Cases involving complex financial issues that require expert evaluation and analysis
- Child custody disputes that cannot be resolved peaceably through negotiation
If any of these factors apply to your case, it is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the decision-making process, help you determine how disputes may be resolved through mediation, and advise you on other options that may be available.
Contact Our St. Charles Divorce Mediation Lawyers
If you are considering mediation during your divorce, Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, is here to assist you. We know that every divorce is unique, and we will take the time to listen to your concerns and goals. Our team has extensive experience helping clients navigate all aspects of divorce in Illinois. To schedule a consultation with our skilled Kane County divorce attorneys, please contact us at 630-665-7300. We can answer any questions you may have about mediation or any other divorce-related matter. We are committed to helping you find the best solutions for your specific situation.