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Divorce mediation as an alternative to litigation in Illinois

If your marriage is ending, you are likely to want to get your divorce completed soon and with as little disagreement as possible. Your divorce likely involves many aspects that will need to be decided, including how to divide your property, with whom your children will live and what your children's parenting time will be, whether you and your spouse will share decision-making responsibility for your child and whether you or your spouse will want to be awarded alimony.

While it may seem difficult to reach an agreement with your spouse, if you are able to do so through mediation instead of court litigation, you will have several advantages. You will save yourself the time involved with attending multiple court appearances. You will likely also save money on attorney's fees. You may also prevent some of the increased conflict that can come with litigating your divorce at a contested hearing.

If you and your spouse choose mediation, you will meet privately with a mediator who has previously been approved by the court to handle such matters and who is a neutral professional who is trained to facilitate conversations between divorcing spouses to try to reach an agreement. If you do reach an agreement, a memorandum will be prepared which you will take to your attorney. Your attorney will file it and your divorce will be granted.

If you have been a victim of domestic violence or your spouse has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, mediation is not an appropriate way for you to proceed. At our law firm, we help clients mediate their differences. For those that who need to litigate, we go to court on their behalf. If you have questions about the process, you may want to read more on our mediation page.

Source: The law office of Cynthia L. Lazar, "Mediation & Collaborative Law", January 05, 2015

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