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Choosing a Mediator for Your Divorce

 Posted on June 02, 2015 in Mediation

mediator, mediation, Illinois divorce lawyersWhile deciding to end a marriage is never easy, some situations are certainly more difficult than others. Couples who are able to work together through the divorce process, however, often find that doing so leads to much more manageable stress levels and reduced difficulty in coming to a workable divorce agreement. Mediation, for many such couples, offers the opportunity to minimize the challenges of divorce while promoting a cooperative spirit that may last long after the divorce is finalized.

Is Mediation Your Best Option?

Before you and your spouse begin looking for a mediator to help you through the divorce process, you must first understand what your needs are. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method and is generally of value only to cooperative couples with unresolved issues in their divorce. If you and your spouse have already come to an agreement on most of the inherent details, it is possible that you would be better served by a divorce attorney who can help you file the necessary paperwork. However, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement regarding important concerns, a mediator may be able help you do so.

Find the Right Mediator

Once you have determined that mediation will meet your needs, it is up to you and your partner to seek out a mediator best suited to help you. It is very important to remember that a mediator’s role is to facilitate negotiations between you and your spouse, not to make decisions. The mediator may offer input on topics to be discussed and the legal implications of making certain choices, but you and your spouse are ultimately responsible for the outcome of the process.

With that in mind, you may wish to consider several factors about the mediator you choose, including:

  • Background and qualifications: Is he or she primarily a mental health professional or a legal professional? Depending on your particular concerns, you may find an attorney-mediator to have a better grasp of the intricacies of law, while a mental health professional will likely focus on the emotional and psychological impacts of your divorce.
  • Ability to listen: Your mediator must remain fully engaged in the process, gathering appropriate information and clues from the input and tone of each spouse. This allows him or her to help guide the negotiation more effectively, allowing you to reach an agreement quickly.
  • Comfort level: Regardless of the mediator’s skills and qualifications, if you are not comfortable speaking candidly with him or her, the process is not likely to be successful. Look for a mediator to whom you can relate as a person, as well as a professional. This may require talking with several prospective mediators before making a choice, but the effort will be well worth it.

If you are considering mediation for your divorce, the skilled lawyers at A. Traub & Associates can help you find the right mediator. Contact one our experienced Illinois family law attorneys today and get the assistance you need during a challenging time.

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