Dispelling Myths About Divorce MediationDivorce mediation can be more productive and cost-effective than litigation for some couples. In mediation, the spouses directly negotiate the terms of their divorce settlement, with a mediator serving as a neutral guide. The process can be less expensive than litigation because the spouses minimize their time in court and share the expense of the mediator. Spouses are also more likely to be mutually satisfied with the resulting agreement. Mediation does not work for every divorce, and a failed attempt may be costly if the couple has to use divorce litigation. However, you should not reject mediation because you have misconceptions about the process. Here are four facts that dispel common myths about divorce mediation:

  1. Mediation Does Not Require an Amicable Divorce: Mediation relies on the divorcing couple being able to communicate in a constructive manner in order to reach an agreement. It is the mediator’s role to facilitate the discussions and intervene when communications breakdown. The mediator can steer the conversation away from counterproductive subjects, pause negotiations when tensions escalate and bring in a therapist to help teach constructive communication skills.
  2. Mediation Is Not Like Marriage Counseling: Though a mediator will encourage improved communications between the parties, reconciling a marriage is not his or her goal. The purpose of divorce negotiations is to settle the division of property and parental responsibilities. A divorce mediator is someone who has experience with the legal process of divorce, not a relationship counselor.
  3. The Mediator Will Not Control the Negotiations: Spouses lead the negotiation during the divorce mediation and will decide the terms of the agreement. The mediator is a neutral resource who understands the legal requirements for creating a divorce agreement. The mediator can inform both sides of the state’s divorce laws and how they may apply to the issue being discussed.
  4. Both Parties Can Have Attorneys During Mediation: Divorce attorneys will not accompany spouses into the mediation negotiations. That is a different form of alternative dispute resolution called collaborative law. However, both parties in a mediation are encouraged to have their own attorneys on standby. The mediator cannot give advice that would favor one side, but each side can contact his or her own attorney for guidance as needed. It is also advisable that both sides allow their own attorneys to review the divorce agreement that comes out of mediation.

Making a Decision

You can settle any divorce issue through mediation, but the process may not work for some people. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can advise you on the benefits of mediation or litigation for your case. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2489&ChapterID=51