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LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

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134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

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Phone: 630-410-9176
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in divorce mediation

dupage county divorce lawyerFor divorcing couples interested in resolving their divorce amicably and with minimal involvement of the court, mediation is often a viable method of alternative dispute resolution. Even in a contested divorce, the court will sometimes order the spouses to attempt mediation to resolve some of their agreements. Whether you are preparing for mediation voluntarily or by court order, it is important to know what to expect, including whether it is a good idea to hire an attorney for the process.

Mediators and Attorneys Play Different Roles

In mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a trained mediator who will help you reach an agreement on the various aspects of your divorce resolution, including property division, spousal support, child support, and the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Many mediators are also licensed attorneys who have a thorough understanding of the laws governing divorce proceedings in Illinois. However, their role in the mediation process is not to provide legal advice or advocate on behalf of either party. Rather, they must remain neutral and impartial, helping the parties identify common ground and make progress toward an agreement on their own terms.

A divorce attorney, on the other hand, is a representative for one of the parties. If you hire an attorney, they represent you alone. Their role is to advocate for you and your interests throughout the divorce process, whether in amicable negotiations or contested litigation. Your attorney can also provide you with qualified legal advice and help you fulfill all legal requirements to finalize your divorce. Importantly, an attorney cannot represent both spouses even in an uncontested divorce, as this would create a conflict of interest.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_750040453.jpgDivorce is often viewed as a tumultuous process, but this is not always the case. In fact, some couples still value their bond and prefer to end things peacefully. Others recognize that fighting increases the financial and emotional costs for everyone involved. In these situations, parties may opt to pursue alternative dispute resolution over a litigated divorce. However, this path may not be right for every couple, and litigation may be the only way to successfully finalize a divorce.

Mediation or Litigation?

If you are considering using mediation during your divorce, it is important to know that victims of any form of abuse (mental, physical, or financial) are generally encouraged to lean towards litigation instead, as it tends to offer greater protection throughout the divorce process. Litigation is also preferred when there is suspicion of hidden assets. However, contention or disputes between the parties do not mean that a couple cannot pursue alternative dispute resolution; if anything, this particular divorce path may offer some benefits for couples, as long as both parties are at willing to bring their concerns and disagreements to the table in a civil manner. Both parties are encouraged to work together and reach a compromise on sensitive matters, like the division of assets and the creation of a parenting plan. The goal is to make sure that each party walks away with at least some of what they want and a fair portion of what they deserve.

Points to Consider When Determining Whether Mediation Is the Right Solution for Your Divorce

You should ask yourself the following questions when trying to determine which path is best for you:

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Bloomingdale alternative dispute resolution attorneyJust as every relationship and marriage is unique, so too is every divorce. While some couples may choose to split amicably, with almost no signs of contention, others may struggle with hostility, arguments, and conflict. In some cases, people may be floored by the vengeful nature of their soon to be ex-spouse. Thankfully, there is a solution for every situation, and it is important to understand which divorce option may be best for you.

Mediation Versus Litigation

There are two basic ways to handle a divorce: mediation or litigation. Mediation (a common form of alternative dispute resolution) is a process in which the parties attempt to come to an agreement regarding the details of their divorce. A third-party mediator will work as a non-biased facilitator who will not make decisions for the spouses, but who will guide them toward reaching a compromise on any outstanding legal issues they need to address. While a mediator may help the parties understand how the law applies to their situation, they will typically not offer legal advice. For this reason, even when using mediation, you should hire your own divorce attorney who can explain your rights and ensure that your divorce settlement will meet your needs.

Litigation is the more “traditional” divorce route, as it involves the parties going to court and pleading their case before a judge. Both sides will have a chance to argue for why their wishes should be followed regarding issues such as property division or child custody. The judge will then make a ruling, determining how to resolve financial issues in a fair and equitable manner and deciding child-related issues based on what is in children's best interests. Whatever the decision may be, each party must abide by the ruling. Either party may file an appeal if they believe that errors were made during the divorce trial that resulted in an unjust judgment.

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Naperville divorce mediation attorneyPredicting the types of conflicts you may experience throughout your divorce process can be difficult, if not impossible. Sometimes, you do not know trouble is brewing until a particular issue is discussed and suddenly spawns an argument that seems unmanageable. Many couples experience nothing but smooth sailing during the first stages of divorce, only to find later that buried tensions have morphed into a series of toxic interactions. Whether you have been fortunate enough to have an amicable separation thus far or are dealing with a contentious divorce, exploring mediation as a tool to help achieve a peaceful dissolution of marriage can be beneficial for both parties. 

Conflicts That Can Be Better Resolved With Mediation 

Divorce stirs up an array of emotions for everyone involved, often triggering irrational exchanges and heated responses between both parties. If tension starts to build or conversations cannot be conducted civilly, mediation may be the best resolution. Utilizing a trained professional to negotiate the terms of your divorce can help reduce stress, allowing you to reach an agreement that both parties can be satisfied with. Some common points of dispute that can be resolved with the help of a mediator include:

  • Parenting plan disagreements - The purpose of a parenting plan in the state of Illinois is to allocate specific parental responsibilities to each parent, so that both parties have a clear understanding of their role in the child’s life. Although a parenting plan serves to protect the best interests of the child, creating one can be tricky. Disagreements about important issues, such as parenting time (visitation), education, healthcare, and religious beliefs, can be resolved through mediation.

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Lombard, IL alternative dispute resolution attorney

The moment the divorce process is set into motion, separating spouses are inundated with challenges and are forced to address a number of different conflicts. Whether the decision to end your marriage was mutual or rife with tension, a variety of issues can arise, requiring both parties to work together to find solutions. Discussions about everything from the division of assets and spousal maintenance to child support are all topics that can quickly turn an amicable split into a contentious one. While not every divorce involves heated debates and bitter court battles, even couples whose interactions are civil and respectful may run into roadblocks as they navigate the divorce process. However, there are alternative dispute resolution methods that achieve the same goal of legally ending a marriage. 

How to Know When it Is Time to Consider Mediation

Divorce mediation is a path that allows both parties to work with a neutral third party who is specifically trained to handle conflict resolution. A mediator is equipped to address concerns over legal matters while working with a couple to find a solution that meets the needs of each party. How do you know when you are in over your head with the divorce process? At would point should couples seek out mediation to resolve ongoing conflicts? Experts suggest there are multiple indicators that signal your need for help from a third party. Here are some signs that your divorce case may benefit from some support to help move things in the right direction:

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

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