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IL family lawyerDivorcing and unmarried couples with children often struggle to reach an agreement about child custody and visitation, called “the allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time,” in Illinois. Divorcing parents are asked to create a “parenting plan” that addresses how the parents intend to share child-related duties. The plan contains information about which parent the child will spend time with and when, how parents will make major decisions about the child’s upbringing, transportation arrangements, and more. When parents cannot agree on one or more elements of a parenting plan, one option that may help them reach a resolution is family law mediation.

Parents May Be More Likely to Comply with Parenting Plans They Helped Create

During child custody litigation, the court considers arguments from each party and then decides on a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interests. During family law mediation, parents are encouraged to negotiate the unresolved issues and find solutions that both parents can agree to. This means that if the parents are successful in creating a parenting plan during mediation, the plan will contain input from both parents. It is much more likely that a parent will comply with a parenting plan that he or she helped create than a plan that was decided by the court.

Mediation Can Help Encourage a Positive Co-Parenting Relationship

Courtroom litigation can create an atmosphere of “us versus them” that may increase the level of bitterness and resentment between parents. On the other hand, mediation is designed to be a cooperative, respectful process in which both parents have the opportunity to voice their opinions. Parents who learn how to work out parenting issues during mediation build a strong foundation for amicably resolving co-parenting disagreements in the future. In the end, the people who often end up benefiting the most from family law mediation are the children.

Mediation is a Confidential, Cost-Effective Process

Statements made during litigation are a matter of public record. However, anything said during mediation is confidential – save for certain statements involving abuse or illegal activity. Parents can speak freely without worrying that private information will be shared with the public or that their statements will be used against them in court. Furthermore, family law mediation tends to be much less expensive than litigation.

Contact a Kane County Mediation Lawyer

For many parents, mediation is a great way to resolve child custody disagreements cooperatively and without the need for litigation. If you are considering mediation for your child-related legal dispute, Shaw Family Law, P.C. can help you determine whether mediation is the best choice for your unique situation, choose a quality mediator, and understand your rights during mediation. Call our office at 630-584-5550 to schedule a free consultation with a St. Charles family law attorney to discuss your needs.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are a parent getting divorced in Illinois, you will be required to submit a “parenting plan” or parenting agreement regarding how you intend to care for your children after the divorce. The plan must contain directions for the allocation of parental responsibilities as well as parenting time, or visitation. While some parents take on all of the parental responsibilities, sometimes called having “sole custody,” a shared parenting arrangement is more common. Parents who wish to share parental responsibilities will need to include a parenting time schedule and directions for how child-related duties will be divided between the parents in their Illinois parenting plan. If you and your child’s other parent are struggling to come to an agreement about how to share parental responsibilities and parenting time, mediation may be a way to reach a resolution.

The Benefits of Mediation For Divorcing Parents Who Cannot Agree

Understandably, many parents getting a divorce are overwhelmed with emotions. They may worry that they will not get to spend enough time with their child after the divorce or they might have concerns about how their spouse will handle post-divorce parenting obligations. It can be challenging to remain objective and calm when discussing the provisions of a parenting plan with a soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you and your spouse have found yourselves in this situation, mediation may help you effectively negotiate parenting issues so that you can reach an agreement without the need for expensive litigation.

A Qualified Mediator May Help Parents Reach a Resolution Regarding Parental Responsibilities

Parents may be ordered to attend mediation if they cannot reach an agreement about child-related issues or they may choose to attend mediation voluntarily. During the mediation process, a credentialed mediator acts as a neutral third-party facilitator. The mediator’s job is not to make decisions for the parents or choose one parent’s parenting plan over the other’s. The mediator simply helps the couple discuss parenting issues in a meaningful, productive, amicable way. Both parents will have an opportunity to share their points of view regarding the provisions of the parenting plan and then parents will negotiate until they can reach a solution. Unlike courtroom litigation, anything you say in mediation is confidential and not part of the public record. If parents cannot reach an agreement about the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, or the other issues addressed by their Illinois parenting plan, they may require court intervention.

Contact a Kane County Mediation Lawyer

If you want to learn more about how mediation can benefit you and your children, contact Shaw Family Law, P.C. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with an accomplished St. Charles mediator by calling our office today at 630-584-5550.

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