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Posted on in Mediation

Lombard family law attorneysIn this day and age, divorce is no longer the exclusive province of family law courts. Many couples, especially if they enjoy a fairly civil relationship, choose alternative dispute resolution methods to achieve their objectives. Couples who use such methods are often driven by a willingness to move their case forward faster than would possible in court. If this avenue appeals to you, Illinois law provides several different options.

Mediation

Divorce mediation is not for everyone. In fact, it is definitively not appropriate for spouses who will not or cannot maintain a civil relationship. If, however, you and your spouse are able to talk and be in the same room, mediation could be an option. While most mediators undergo specialized training, they are not necessarily required to be licensed by any governing body or accreditation entity. This reality can sometimes be a deterrent for those who fear that something may go wrong. However, Illinois does have a Uniform Mediation Act, which sets out requirements and prohibitions that must be followed.

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Lombard mediation attorneysDivorce is typically a time of increased stress and emotions for the couple splitting. When we are emotionally wounded, we have a tendency to lash out against the person who caused the damage. Some events that happen throughout the course of a divorce have the proclivity to leave lasting emotional wounds to those involved. As adults, we have a better understanding of what is happening and why, but when children are involved, the situation changes. The impact of what happens during a divorce could last for decades or even a lifetime. Many divorcing spouses now seek alternative solutions as a means of protecting their children. One such method is mediation.

What is Mediation?

Even after years of marriage, it is possible just to realize that this is not what you truly want for your life. You and your spouse may have irreconcilable differences, and you just do not “mesh” well together anymore. That is absolutely okay and it does not make either of you any a bad or unlovable person. For situations such as these and others in which the splitting pair are able to maintain a civil relationship, mediation is a viable alternative to traditional divorce proceedings. Instead of heading straight to a courtroom armed with your own personal attorney, divorce mediation allows an opportunity for spouses to come together in a private location with a neutral third party—a mediator—and settle the divorce on their own terms.

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Lombard divorce lawyersOften when people hear the term mediation in the realm of divorce, they automatically think of the tense arguments and conflicts that typically surround the end of a marriage. While disagreements can certainly turn ugly in the midst of divorce, many marriages actually end civilly and peacefully, with minimal conflict between spouses.

However, for those who are having a difficult time seeing eye to eye on certain issues, tension can arise and the challenge to come to a settlement can create a very bumpy transition for the entire family. This is where divorce mediation in family law comes in. Mediation has a number of advantages, but it is particularly helpful in a number of ways.

Better Communication

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Posted on in Divorce
divorce mediationWhen your family is in transition, you need to find a way to bring matters to a conclusion and move on to the next chapter of your life. That is not always easy to do in a divorce or child custody case because there is so much emotion involved and, even for couples who stay together, child rearing issues never really go away. An experienced family law mediator can step in and help. Before we get to the heart of the matter, there is an important preliminary issue. It is very important to seek out an attorney-mediator who is certified in family law. Some other professionals may not understand all the financial, emotional and legal questions involved in Illinois family law matters.

Cost

Divorce is expensive. One oft-quoted statistic is that the average divorce costs $15,000. Although the number of extremely costly divorces in America may artificially drive up the average, one thing is certain: divorce is always more expensive than you had originally anticipated. Mediation reduces legal fees. Rather than spending months preparing for a three- or four-day trial, attorneys may spend a few days preparing for a mediation that lasts a few hours. Generally speaking, there is also less pretrial discovery, which means fewer hours that the lawyer must bill on the case.

Civility

Court hearings take place in a highly-charged emotional atmosphere. The opposing parties often sit only a few feet away from each other, and events occur in rapid-fire succession. Conversely, most mediations occur in a cluster of conference rooms in an office building where the atmosphere is quite informal. After the parties make their opening statements, they generally retire to separate rooms where there are long moments of inactivity which act as "cooling-off" periods. The parties are more focused on getting things done, and there is very little emotional drama.

Control

Mediation increases compliance. Parties are more likely to follow a mediation order as opposed to one that was handed down by the judge. You may tell your son to clean his room, and maybe he will. But if your son decides for himself that his room is dirty, he’s more likely to clean it. This effect is magnified if, as is often the case, one person has control issues or problems submitting to authority. Mediation does not work in all cases, but it is nearly always worth a try. For a consultation with our experienced Arlington Heights family law attorneys, contact A. Traub and Associates at (847) 749-4182.
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