As a seasoned divorce lawyer in Illinois, I can tell you that mediation is an incredibly useful tool for couples seeking to dissolve their marriage. Not only is it a cost-effective and efficient alternative to traditional litigation, but it can also help divorcing parties maintain control over the outcome of their divorce settlement and maintain a relationship beneficial to their family moving forward. Mediation is a flexible and customizable tool in any divorcing party’s toolbox that affords both parties input, rather than placing your lives in the hands of a stranger in a black robe.
What is Mediation in an Illinois Divorce?
So, what exactly is mediation? Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that involves a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who facilitates the parties to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute. In the context of divorce, mediation involves the mediator working with both parties to identify and prioritize their individual interests (think needs) and concerns and then facilitating a negotiation that hopefully leads to a settlement agreement. In other words, with the help of a neutral mediator, you and your soon-to-be ex can sit down and hash out a plan for your divorce that works for both of you. You are the master of your marital settlement agreement when you choose mediation to resolve your divorce.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
One of the primary benefits of mediation is that it allows parties to retain control over the outcome of their divorce settlement. In traditional litigation, the court ultimately decides the terms of the divorce, which can leave one or both parties feeling dissatisfied with the result. Mediation, on the other hand, allows the parties to work together to craft a settlement agreement that meets their specific needs and concerns, which result may look far different than what a court would order.
Mediation is Quicker and Less Adversarial
Another benefit of mediation is that it is typically less expensive and less time-consuming than traditional litigation. Litigation can be incredibly costly, with attorney fees, court costs, and other expenses (think court reporters) adding up quickly. Mediation, however, can often be completed in just a few sessions and at a fraction of the cost of traditional litigation.
Mediation can also be a much less adversarial process than traditional litigation. In litigation, each party’s attorney is focused on advocating for their client’s interests and persuading the court to rule in their favor, not to come to a compromised result. This can lead to a highly contentious and emotionally charged environment that can be incredibly stressful for both parties. In mediation, however, the focus is on finding common ground and working collaboratively toward a mutually beneficial outcome.
Mediation Ensures Privacy
While a litigated divorce will be a part of the public record, mediation is private. The terms of your divorce settlement agreement will be available to no one but you and your ex. If you choose to battle it out in court, the whole world could be privy to your sensitive information such as the extent of your assets and the dynamics of your home life. For most high-net-worth couples pursuing divorce, privacy is paramount.
A Skilled Attorney Can Guide You Through the Mediation Process
If you are pursuing a divorce in Illinois, know that you have many options for achieving your end goal. The best way to assess the landscape and move forward with confidence is to enlist the services of a skilled and seasoned divorce attorney in Illinois, like those at Beermann LLP, and engage in attorney-assisted mediation.
Thomas T. Field, Equity Partner
For more information on Mr. Field, please visit: