My name is Cynthia L. Lazar, and I am a certified family law mediator. The judges for the 19th Judicial Circuit in Lake County, Illinois, maintain a list of approved family law mediators, and I am honored to be one of the senior mediators on that list.
I proudly provide divorce mediation services to spouses interested in a more cooperative alternative to litigation. In addition, I offer family mediation services for parents who have already been divorced.
Is Mediation Right For Me?
Resolving a divorce through litigation has many disadvantages, primarily:
- Cost: Divorce-related quarrels can become extremely time-consuming and expensive. The combination of family law attorneys charging by the hour and multiple trips to the courthouse can quickly lead to high costs, leaving you both with fewer resources post-separation. Spouses who choose litigation are left paying for the entire process with no assistance. I frequently advise clients not to spend money on a costly divorce; instead, save those funds for your own future or your child’s college expenses. A contested, litigated divorce can be financially devastating for a family.
- Loss of control: When two partners are able to reach an agreement, they remain in control of their futures. Litigation places the decision in the hands of a judge, which can result in an outcome neither spouse is happy with.
- Difficulty in parenting: Tensions from the courthouse can carry over into the parenting relationship, making it more difficult for parents to cooperate for the good of their children.
- Timetable: When you choose mediation, you control the length of time from start to finish for the divorce. By contrast, contested, litigated divorce cases are placed on the court’s calendar and the court gets to determine the timetable, which can turn it into an overly long and drawn-out process.
What Exactly Is Mediation?
In mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a specially-trained divorce mediator, privately, at the mediator’s office. The mediator works as a neutral third party and will not advocate in favor of you or your spouse. Your mediator will instead guide you both in coming to agreements regarding property division, child support and parenting plans. If you and your spouse disagree on an issue and negotiations come to a standstill, experienced and trained mediators can offer numerous alternative solutions tailored to your unique situation. You and your spouse can then resolve any disagreements by exploring which of the many options is right for both of you.
Once you do reach an agreement, your mediator will prepare a written Memorandum of Understanding that serves as the main document in your divorce decree. By encouraging cooperation, the mediation process can reduce the time, money and acrimony involved in your divorce while fairly considering the needs of all parties.
Stay In Control Of Your Future. Schedule A Consultation Today.
I frequently ask clients why they would want to place what is most precious to them—that is, matters pertaining to their children and their finances—in the hands of a stranger. If you turn the matter over to the court, that is exactly what you are doing. Experienced family law attorneys should always advise clients to attempt mediation first if it is a viable option in their divorce. For most spouses, taking the matter before the court should be the last choice after all other options have failed.
If you are interested in mediation or other methods of alternative dispute resolution for your divorce, The Law Office Of Cynthia L. Lazar in Libertyville, Illinois, is ready to help. Contact us today to arrange a consultation.