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When getting a divorce, many couples think it is going to involve a lengthy and bitter courtroom battle. However, this is often not the case. Many couples choose to settle their divorce through mediation. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution in which the two spouses meet with a neutral third-party, the mediator. During these meetings, the mediator attempts to bring the couple to a mutual agreement on all terms of the divorce. The process requires compromise on the part of each spouse, but there are many advantages to the process, which are listed below.
When going through litigation to get a divorce, the couple is at the mercy of the court’s schedule. That, along with the fact that trials are often lengthy, makes litigated divorces take much longer than those that are settled during mediation. While a litigated divorce may take several months to a year to settle, mediation can involve just a few sessions that take place over the course of several weeks.
Generally speaking, mediation is cheaper than going through litigation for divorce. Mediation does not involve fees such as court costs and the fact that it is a faster process than going to trial typically means that mediation is cheaper than going to court.
During a litigated divorce, a judge will make the final decision on all terms of a divorce including property division, child custody, and maintenance. Once a judge makes their decision, there is little either spouse can do about it. During mediation, however, both spouses come to an agreement on those terms with the help of the mediator. This places the control of the process and the outcome back in the hands of the couple.
Mediation has a very important benefit for divorces that involve children. When the couples argue in a courtroom for several months on end, it builds animosity and resentment between the two spouses. Once the divorce is finalized, this anger remains and is evident when the couple tries to co-parent the children. When the couple can learn to compromise and work with each other during mediation though, they can work together better as they co-parent.
Although mediation does have many benefits, it is not a good fit for all couples. To foster the compromise that this process requires, each spouse must be respectful and honest with the other and be willing to work with the other party. This does not work in all cases. When a divorce involves domestic violence, or one spouse suspects the other is hiding assets, mediation will likely not work.
There are many different ways to get a divorce in Illinois, but they are not all appropriate for every situation. If you are getting a divorce, our experienced Hinsdale family lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can help determine which option is right for you. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help with your case.