What Happens During Divorce Mediation?
Ending a marriage is often an emotionally exhausting process that involves difficult decisions regarding asset division, child custody, and other important matters. Divorce cases are sometimes ligated through the court system, but this is not the only option for resolving a divorce. There are alternatives such as mediation that allow divorcing spouses to have more control over the outcome of the divorce. Instead of letting a judge make decisions about whether each party should receive certain assets or which parent should have custody, divorce mediation gives parties the opportunity to work out an agreement outside of the courtroom.
If you are considering mediation to settle disputed issues in your divorce, you may have several questions. What happens during mediation? What does the mediator do? What does the mediation process look like?
Mediators Facilitate Productive Communication and Negotiation
Getting divorced involves much more than simply deciding to end the marriage. Spouses must also address complicated issues, such as how to divide shared property and debts and how to allocate parental responsibilities. During mediation, divorcing spouses have an opportunity to discuss these issues and explore various options. Most divorcing spouses have a very hard time doing this on their own. Married couples often have years of memories – both good and bad. Emotions are running high during divorce and this makes it difficult to think clearly.
A mediator helps the couple put emotions to the side and focus on the facts of the case. If the couple starts arguing about unrelated issues or veers off course in a conversation, the mediator is there to gently guide them back to the task at hand. Mediators can help couples break down complicated issues and contentious disagreements into small, manageable steps.
Mediation sessions vary in duration and frequency. Some couples are able to reach an agreement within one or two sessions. Others may need as many as eight sessions. Each situation is unique.
Is Mediation Right for Me?
Illinois courts encourage divorcing spouses and parents involved in child custody disputes to use mediation to reach a mutually agreeable solution. In some cases, the court requires parents to attend mediation. However, mediation is not right for everyone. For example, if a couple has a history of domestic violence or abuse, mediation is typically not recommended. Mediation may also be insufficient in cases involving highly complex financial matters or extreme contentiousness.
Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
If you are getting divorced, mediation may help you and your spouse negotiate an agreement outside of the courtroom. This is often a much more economic option than litigation. At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we recognize that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to divorce. Our Kane County divorce attorneys will sit down with you and help you evaluate all of your options. Attorney Matt Shaw is not only a skilled divorce attorney, but also a qualified mediator. Call 630-584-5550 to set up a free consultation.