Marriage is not for everyone; however, there are those people who enter into marriage believing they can make it work and last a lifetime. Unfortunately, even for those couples who give it their best, they may ultimately decide to divorce. Indeed, most recent statistics available show that more than 22 percent of couples marrying for the first time end up divorcing in less than five years, while 53 percent of all marriages dissolve by the 20-year anniversary. Although divorce proceedings are usually carried out in court, litigation is not always necessary to legally terminate your marriage.
There is a growing trend for couples to use other means to resolve the issues involved in ending their marriage, and these methods are known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Mediation is one of the most common types of ADR, and during this process, divorcing spouses will work with a third-party mediator to address and resolve all legal issues involved in dissolving their marriage. The process is confidential and non-binding. This means if one spouse does not agree with the mediator’s proposed resolution of an issue, they will not be required to follow it, and any issues that cannot be resolved may be addressed through litigation in court. The mediator can help resolve issues typically involved in divorce, such as:
ADR has several advantages. If a couple is willing and able to work together, the process may offer a quick and money-saving method of legally terminating their marriage when compared to traditional litigation. Typically, mediation sessions are less formal, creating a more personalized way of addressing and resolving the issues, which is an added benefit.
It is important to note that while a mediator may be an attorney who can provide guidance about the legal issues that need to be addressed, it can also be beneficial to work with your own lawyer, who can provide you with legal advice, make sure you understand your rights, and help you reach a positive outcome to the ADR process. An experienced attorney can also help you uncover and address any issues that may not come up during mediation, such as hidden assets.
Collaborative law is another form of ADR in which each spouse hires a separate lawyer, and the parties agree to work together to resolve all issues in their divorce without going to court for litigation. Before beginning the collaborative process, the spouses will both sign a legally binding agreement in which they commit to resolve any disputes outside the court system and in accordance with the collaborative law rules and guidelines. If they are unable to reach a resolution, the spouses' attorneys will withdraw from representing them in any required litigation.
At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, we have skilled lawyers experienced in handling family law matters under Alternative Dispute Resolution rules and guidelines in Illinois. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience representing clients in this area of law, and we know what it takes to come out ahead with your rights fully protected. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you or your spouse have already filed a divorce petition, you should seek professional legal counsel. Contact one of our experienced Lombard, IL alternative dispute resolution attorneys who can provide you with accurate information and assist you through the proceedings until the divorce is finalized. Call our office today at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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