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Category: Divorce

The Benefits of Mediation in Illinois Family Law Cases

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Written by Jessica Mansbacher Kibbe on 1.10.24

For anyone pursuing a divorce in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, mediation is a useful and often court-mandated tool in attaining a satisfactory resolution. When parties cannot agree on the terms of their Marital Settlement Agreement, they can take that discussion to mediation, where a neutral third party will help guide their conversation and facilitate an agreement.

Mediation can be useful when spouses are trying to divide their marital property, and it is required by the court in all divorce cases involving minor children when the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan. Mediation, also known as alternative dispute resolution, can be particularly beneficial in family law cases in Chicago.

Here are just a few of the benefits of utilizing the mediation process to resolve your divorce.

Mediation is a Cooperative Process

During mediation, the participants are encouraged to work together to come to an agreement that is satisfactory to them both. There is no single person, like a judge, making unilateral decisions for anyone else. Because mediation is cooperative, it is less adversarial than litigation. The mediation process encourages open communication, which typically benefits everyone, especially those participants who go on to co-parent with one another for years afterward.

Mediation Provides Control

 In mediation, the participants have the power to shape their own futures. They are not forced to come to an agreement, but doing so is often their only chance to determine the trajectory of their divorce proceedings. When mediation fails, those decisions fall into the hands of a judge who likely does not know the smaller yet important details of a family’s history or dynamic.

Mediation enables the participants to find tailored solutions to the unique needs and preferences of their families. Mediation also offers participants the opportunity to come up with creative solutions for their disputes beyond what a court would typically order.

This sense of empowerment and control provides benefits long after the divorce is finalized. Parties may be more likely to comply with agreements they helped create. Parties who come up with agreements in mediation may feel more satisfied with the outcome of their divorce compared to those who must comply with court-imposed decisions. A well-crafted agreement, achieved in mediation, may reduce the likelihood of future disputes.

Mediation is Confidential

The things you say in mediation will remain confidential. In contrast, when you go before a judge to litigate your divorce, those proceedings are in the public domain. Many people prefer to keep their private family business off the record, and mediation allows for this. This sense of privacy often helps promote honest and open discussions between participants and encourages the resolution of contentious issues.

Mediation is Cost-Effective

While mediation is not free or even necessarily cheap, it is typically less expensive than litigation. When you can keep your divorce out of court, you can reduce your legal fees and court-related expenses. Mediation may also help you save time and resources by avoiding lengthy court battles. The quicker you can resolve your divorce proceedings, the sooner you and your family can move forward in your new normal.

Reach out to a Family Law Attorney in Chicago Today for Guidance

In Chicago, family law mediation is often encouraged by the court system, and many couples find it to be a constructive and beneficial approach to resolving disputes related to divorce, child custody, and other family matters. However, it is essential to consult with a legal professional to determine the best way forward for your specific situation. The skilled family law attorneys of O. Long Law, LLC, have guided many clients through the mediation process. They understand the many benefits that mediation can provide a divorcing couple in Chicago. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and discuss your unique situation with a seasoned professional.

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