If you are looking to separate from a spouse and legally end a relationship in Illinois, you might consider pursuing mediation. Mediation is often an effective way of pursuing a divorce if you and your spouse are still on good terms.
Mediation involves taking the case to a court-listed mediator. That person meets with you and your spouse and serves as a neutral third party who helps you reach agreements on different aspects of live after a divorce, including property divisions, maintenance obligations, and decisions regarding the care and support of a child. In addition, the discussions do not take place in the court, allowing the involved parties to maintain a certain level of privacy.
In addition to the privacy aspect, mediation may help you because of the various disadvantages of taking a case to court. For example, court battles are often costly and take a long time to resolve. Taking the case before a judge also forces you and your spouse to relinquish control of how decisions are made, leaving rulings in the hands of a stranger. This particular drawback might become an even greater burden on couples who have children.
However, there are certain instances where mediation might not be plausible: In cases that involve individuals who may have a substance abuse problem, pursuing mediation may not be beneficial. Additionally, the process requires that both spouses are safe, so cases that involve instances of domestic abuse might limit how useful mediation can be.
While these guidelines provide some insight into the mediation proceedings, you might be interested in looking into the process more on the mediation page on our website. The page also provides some additional information on another method for seeking a divorce called collaborative law.