Divorce is never simple. There are often both emotional and financial stresses to consider, and you might find it nearly impossible to resolve disputes with your partner. With tensions running high, you might not want to make things worse with an arduous litigation process.
Instead, you could choose mediation and give yourself more control over communication and decision-making throughout the divorce. At Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC, we know that there are many benefits to mediation, like avoiding a costly, emotionally taxing trial. We want to help our clients understand all of their available options for the dissolution of a marriage.
Mediation is an approach to divorce in which the divorcing partners work with a neutral third-party mediator to dissolve the marriage. The mediator helps the couple make key decisions about the divorce, like how to approach the division of assets and decisions regarding child custody and support.
If you choose mediation as a part of your divorce process, you can work to prioritize healthy, open communication with the other party. This may prevent additional emotional turmoil that can come with a lengthy court process. You can also avoid high fees and address the dissolution of your marriage quickly and efficiently.
Typically, mediators are not only experienced in the legal complexities of ending a marriage but are also skilled in conflict resolution. They can be a vital asset in ensuring debates between you and your spouse don’t escalate. During mediation, you will have the ability to communicate all of your thoughts, and you can work collaboratively with your spouse in making important decisions about your assets and your children’s lives. If a conflict arises or threatens to take you and your spouse off-topic, the mediator can help you stay on task and complete the divorce with civility and respect.
Since mediation allows you to communicate freely, even in the context of a strained relationship, it often softens the emotional impact of a marriage dissolution. Litigation can become ugly sometimes, with lengthy proceedings pushing families to their emotional brink. Mediation aims to create a compassionate, supportive environment in which the marriage can come to a swift end instead of worsening the stress among both parties.
Choosing mediation over standard court proceedings will likely save you both time and money. The exact amount of time needed to complete mediation will depend on the issues being addressed. However, agreements can usually be reached faster in mediation than in civil proceedings. Without mediation, the litigation process can be lengthy and incredibly time-consuming. This can lead to substantial legal fees, which also may delay your ability to reach a post-divorce peace of mind.
If you choose to end your marriage in Illinois, you are not legally required to pursue mediation. However, there are some cases in which an Illinois judge may require you to mediate specific issues. For example, if you are unable to reconcile your differences with your spouse related to childcare decisions, the court will order mediation. Child-related disputes are the only case in which the court will always order mediation. A judge may also order spouses to mediate issues like alimony or dividing property.
A: If both you and your partner agree to participate in mediation, you can select a mediator together. In some cases, the court may order the mediation and select a mediator for you. You will then schedule your session in which the mediator will introduce the goals, let both parties speak uninterrupted, ask for a summary of the situation, and aid in negotiation, problem-solving, and reaching a settlement.
A: In mediation, the mediator is a neutral third party who works to help you and your partner reach a compromise. In contrast, an arbitrator acts like a judge over the settlement. Thus, their personal judgment impacts the final decisions, while a mediator never brings their personal judgment into your case. Additionally, the mediation process is not legally binding, whereas arbitration can be legally binding.
A: The cost of divorce mediation in Illinois depends on the case’s complexity and on the mediator’s rates. Generally, you will likely pay between $100-$500 per hour. If your mediator is highly skilled and experienced, their rate may be higher than other available mediators. However, mediators with more experience are often able to effectively and compassionately reach more favorable outcomes.
A: A mediator can be important for an efficient, respectful divorce. During the mediation process, each party has the chance to speak without interruption and respectfully share their view on the problems at hand. The mediator can minimize the escalation of conflict and support the divorcing partners through a collaborative dissolution of the marriage.
A: The primary goal of divorce mediation is to maintain civility and respect while agreeing on divorce terms. Mediation can help couples avoid adding to the emotional distress of divorce with a long legal battle. Instead, the focus is on resolving the main issues in the dissolution with respect for one another’s points of view and a focus on doing what’s fair.
While there is no magic wand to easily grant a divorce, mediation can be beneficial for reducing your stress and increasing collaboration in your divorce. At Vahey Law & Mediation, LLC, we understand how overwhelming divorce can be and are here to provide support as you end your marriage. We are experienced in handling various types of family law cases and will take the time to understand your family’s specific needs. If you’re wondering if mediation is right for you or if you have other questions or concerns regarding the steps of your divorce, don’t hesitate to contact us today.