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What Do We Do if Our Divorce Mediation Fails? 

Posted on March 23, 2022 in Family Law Blog

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_277528928.jpgMost Illinois couples who are going through a divorce can avoid the difficulty and expense of courtroom divorce litigation by using the help of a trained divorce mediator. Because mediation is so successful and it saves both Illinois courts and divorcing spouses time and money, judges usually require spouses to undergo mediation before their divorce can advance to a trial. 

However, the mediation process is not always feasible and, even for those who try it in good faith, it is not always successful. If mediation efforts have not yielded a mutually satisfying divorce decree, you may be wondering what comes next. 

Why Does Mediation Fail? 

Mediation can fail for many reasons. One or both spouses may be unwilling to cooperate or believe they will get a better “deal” if they present their case to a judge. Some spouses may be too hostile to reasonably work together. Other couples may try hard to negotiate but will still have unbridgeable differences in how they see certain facts or priorities. 


Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that you can take any successes from mediation with you to trial. If you could not agree to a parenting plan but reached a resolution about marital property, you can keep the agreement about marital property and use the trial to resolve the question of parenting time and parental responsibilities. While previous mediation efforts are not enforceable and may even be confidential and therefore not allowed in a divorce trial, if both spouses agree to use them, you do not have to completely start from scratch. 

Proceeding to Trial

Before your first trial date, your attorneys will begin the process of discovery. This allows both sides to gather facts and information to make an argument in front of a judge. After the discovery process is finished, spouses can request a private pretrial conference, present their evidence to a judge, rely on his or her recommendations for undecided issues, and end the process there. Other times, spouses still will not agree and the entire case will proceed to trial with every detail decided by a judge. 


Preparing for a fight, even if you do not want one, can help you show you are serious and not easily intimidated. If you did not have an attorney during the mediation process, it is essential to hire one before your case proceeds to litigation. Representing yourself in court, especially if your spouse has an attorney, is not likely to get you the results you want. Spending the time and money on a great divorce attorney can save you pain and expense far into the future.

Call a Compassionate Lombard, IL Divorce Lawyer

Ineffective mediation efforts may leave you feeling frustrated and hopeless. With the help of an experienced Lombard divorce attorney at A. Traub & Associates, you can start moving forward in the divorce process even if it feels like there are no options available to you. We will work with you to brainstorm a roadmap for your divorce and stay by your side, even if it takes tough courtroom litigation to complete the process. Contact us today at 630-426-0196 to schedule an initial consultation. 



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