Anderson & Boback Logo
divorce mediation what is it

What is Divorce Mediation and How Does It Work?

Categorized as Mediation

Some people are often surprised that despite the fact that their spouse has filed a petition for dissolution in court and are in the process of full-blown litigation, they are still required to participate in divorce mediation in an effort to come to an agreement. It seems almost counterintuitive to require mediation when the parties are likely in court because there was no agreement.

Divorce Mediation Helps Parties Reach Agreements

However, the more conflicted and litigious you and your spouse are, the less likely the courts are going to entertain the minutia of your life. The large caseload judges have on a daily basis forces them to send out divorce cases to mediation as much as possible. Most courts in the Illinois domestic relations division require all parties with children to attend mediation on all of the issues regarding parenting time and the allocation of major decision-making on behalf of the minor children. The rationale for using mediation is that the parents are in a better position to come to an agreement as to a visitation schedule and other issues relating to their children as a judge as does not know them or their children personally and can make life-altering decisions after a 5-15 minute court-date. If the parties do not come to an agreement in mediation, then the judge will have to make a decision for them.

Mediation and Parenting Issues

Given the success parties often have in mediation regarding parenting issues, courts have been referring cases out for private mediation on the financial issues as well. Financial issues are more difficult to mediate since everyone has a different opinion on what they are entitled to receive as support or maintenance should they let a judge decide for them. In the long run, however, even if they settle for less or more than they would have obtained after a trial, the parties often spend less money on attorneys fees and come out more amicably than a 3-5 day fully litigated trial.

If you and your spouse are already divorced and entered into a joint decision-making agreement with your ex-spouse, there may be a clause in that agreement requiring you and your ex-spouse to attend mediation before you go to court to litigate any issues in the case. This provision again keeps parents out of court if a mediator is able to assist the parties in reaching an amicable resolution.

Is Mediation Right for Your Divorce Case?

Talk to your attorney if you are required to attend mediation or if mediation is appropriate in your case. In the end, if there is no agreement, a judge will hear evidence in your case and decide either way.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

When a couple is considering a divorce, oftentimes there is a discussion about the house and who will live there during the divorce process.  Whether it is rented or purchased, some people decide that they would like to remain living…

Typically, you’d want to avoid a default when you are going through a divorce in Chicago because if not, then the way your marital estate is divided is out of your hands. Recently a client hired us to help her…

Spousal support is often a contentious issue in marriages that are substantial in length, where one spouse has outearned the other spouse.  Spousal support (formerly called alimony and often referred to as maintenance) is the payment of money from one…

There is a lot of disagreement about vaccinations for children and the argument between parents with differing views on this subject is not a new one.  Illinois family law attorneys representing parents in this type of disagreement have worked throughout…

There are many things that parents do when they are going through a separation from a partner or a divorce where a parent could lose custody - or impact their rights to make decisions for their minor children going forward,…

In my experience as a Chicago divorce attorney, when it comes to which spouse initiates a divorce in a marriage it is more often the wife.  Of course, there are plenty of husbands who file for divorce but in a…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Why Choose

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870