Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

What Are the Benefits and Limitations of Family Law Mediation in a Divorce?

 Posted on November 09, 2021 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerGetting divorced is much more than deciding not to be married any longer. Divorcing spouses must also determine the terms of the divorce. Depending on their unique situation, they may need to address the distribution of marital property and debts, parenting time schedules, parental responsibilities, and spousal maintenance or alimony. If the couple can agree on these issues out of court, they may be able to save themselves time, money, and frustration. Mediation is one method of alternative dispute resolution that many divorcing couples find beneficial; however, it is not sufficient in every case.

Advantages of Divorce Mediation

During mediation, both spouses sit down with a mediator to discuss the unresolved divorce matters. They may negotiate the terms of their property division arrangement, decide who will keep the kids on what days, determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance, and more. The mediator helps the couple stay focused and explore various solutions and compromises. Using mediation to resolve divorce issues allows you to stay in control of your divorce’s outcome. It may also help parents stay on relatively good terms so that they can build a functioning co-parenting relationship for the sake of their kids. The conversations you have during mediation are also confidential.

Mediation Alone Is Not Always Enough

In Illinois, divorcing couples are sometimes required to attend mediation. If you and your spouse are struggling to discuss divorce issues calmly and productively, mediation may be useful. In many cases, mediation is a great first step. However, you may need to take additional action to fully resolve the divorce issues.

Mediation may also be impractical for some couples. If your spouse refuses to make the slightest concession during negotiations or insists on unreasonable divorce terms, mediation may simply not work. Mediation is also not recommended for couples with a history of family violence because the power imbalance makes good faith negotiations nearly impossible.

Lastly, mediation may be insufficient in high-asset and complex divorce cases. If you or your spouse own high-value assets, complex assets such as a family business, or have complicated family dynamics, you may want to work directly with an attorney instead of relying on mediation.




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