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St. Charles divorce attorney mediation

Before you and your spouse are granted a divorce you will need to try and reach an agreement about the division of marital assets, allocation of parenting time, spousal maintenance, and other divorce matters. Resolving these issues can be a very difficult process – especially if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye. If you cannot reach an agreement about these issues on your own, one option that may help is family law mediation. The mediation process has helped countless divorcing spouses settle divorce issues so they can avoid courtroom litigation.  

What Does Divorce Mediation Entail?

Understandably, many spouses struggle to discuss divorce issues without letting emotions get in the way. Having a neutral third party who is trained in conflict resolution present throughout the process can be a huge benefit. During divorce mediation, a divorcing couple meets with a specially trained mediator to discuss and negotiate unresolved divorce issues. The mediator’s job is to facilitate productive conversations so spouses can find solutions that work for both of them.

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Kane County family law attorneysWhenever a divorce case goes to litigation, the involved parties give up a great deal of control regarding the situation. While a deal could possibly be brokered by the court, contentiousness and acrimony are more likely to develop. In addition, court dates are often set months out in advance, with very little happening in between. Thus, what could have been a relatively simple divorce has deteriorated into a long, drawn-out process causing serious levels of stress and bitterness. For many couples, however, mediation may provide a much more reasonable avenue for reaching a divorce agreement, allowing them to move at their own pace and addressing the issues that matter most.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that involves at least two parties and a neutral, third-party facilitator. The parties and the facilitator, known as a mediator, engage in negotiation-oriented discussions aimed at developing a resolution that is agreeable for everyone involved. Mediation is used in a wide variety of legal applications and is very often a part of divorce and family law proceedings. Parties to a mediated divorce may choose to retain their own attorneys, depending on the complexity of the case. The best mediators are also attorneys, allowing them to much better be able to address some of the legal issues that may arise during the process.

Flexible Scheduling

In addition to the cooperative nature of mediation, the method is also very attractive for many couples due to its inherent flexibility. The restrictive scheduling of court dockets often requires both parties to take off work, make childcare arrangements, and spend weeks waiting for the opportunity to be heard. Most mediators, on the other hand, make themselves much more available to meet the needs of a particular couple. Many offer evening or weekend sessions to allow for faster progress and, ultimately, more efficient resolution.

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Kane County divorce attorneysThere are almost countless reasons why a married couple gets divorced. Sometimes, both spouses agree that it is time to end the marriage while other times only one spouse wants the divorce. Traditionally, married couples who wanted a divorce had to give a reason, or “grounds,” for why they wanted to end their marriage. However, major updates to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) took effect in 2016 which significantly altered the need for proving any grounds for divorce in Illinois.

Divorcing Couples No Longer Need to Assign Fault for the Dissolution of Their Marriage

In the past, Illinois had specific reasons that a married couple could dissolve their marriage. These reasons included the assignment of blame or “fault” to a spouse. Grounds for divorce in Illinois prior to 2016 included:

  • Adultery;
  • Impotence;
  • Bigamy;
  • Abandonment;
  • Drug or alcohol abuse;
  • Physical or mental cruelty;
  • Attempted murder of a spouse by the other;
  • Spouse was convicted of a felony crime; and
  • Spouse infected the other with a sexually transmitted disease.

Since the mid-1980s, however, couples were not forced to choose one of these grounds for divorce in Illinois. A married couple could get divorced even if no major breech in trust or other dramatic wrongdoing occurred, but doing so was often difficult and time-consuming.

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Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
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We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree