Why Choose a Mediator Who Is an Attorney for My Illinois Divorce?
A mediator does not have to be a lawyer. In the state of Illinois, a mediator is not legally required to have any type of license or certification. But do you want to trust your divorce to someone who is not familiar with the law or the legal process?
Family law attorneys make great mediators because they understand what can unfold in court and they are knowledgeable about the law. Electing to end your marriage is not an easy decision but an experienced divorce mediation attorney can help you focus on conflict resolution and craft an effective mediation agreement.
Benefits of an Attorney-Mediator
The stakes can be high in a divorce. You may be fighting for custody of your children, pets, spousal support, or property division. But rather than face expensive litigation, mediation is a process in which couples meet with an impartial third party to discuss their differences without going to court. For this process to work, there must be good faith and cooperation.
Some benefits of a mediator who is also an attorney include:
- Negotiation - A certified mediator who is an attorney is a skilled negotiator who can guide the divorcing couple through this challenging process.
- Crafting effective agreements – A divorce mediation attorney is adept at drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that can be legally binding because they understand Illinois laws. Keep in mind that the MOU is not enforceable until it is signed by a judge, and it is entered as a court order.
- Couples with children - In Illinois, the allocation of parental responsibility and time-sharing must be drafted into a parenting plan. This can often be a source of conflict between both sides.
- Spousal support – Another potentially sensitive issue that should be incorporated into the agreement is maintenance or money for a spouse’s expenses which is based on the length of the marriage.
- Legal follow-up - If you hire a non-lawyer to mediate your divorce you will likely need to hire an attorney to review the agreement. It is crucial that you understand each decision made during mediation and how it will impact you legally and financially.
- Experience - In most counties in Illinois, the court will order mediation to help couples sort out parental responsibilities and parenting time. If you hire a divorce attorney before you see a mediator, the court will likely order mediation. In such cases, you do not choose your mediator but are assigned one from an approved court list. Mediation remains an unregulated field in which the only requirement for a court-approved mediator is taking a 40-hour class.
Experienced Family Law Mediation
If you are facing divorce, you may be dreading the negotiation process. You need someone empathetic and knowledgeable about the law. At Shaw Sanders, P.C., attorney Matt Shaw is both. He is a certified mediator who has resolved numerous cases outside of court. With more than three decades of extensive court and trial experience representing men, women, and children in Illinois, attorney Shaw will help you keep things amicable with your soon-to-be ex.
Contact a St. Charles, IL Mediation Lawyer
Divorce does not have to be an all-out war. We know this is a difficult time. To discuss your situation with a Kane County mediation attorney we invite you to call 630-584-5550 for a free consultation and find out if mediation is right for you. Shaw Sanders, P.C. is committed to helping you with every aspect of your divorce.