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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Is Mediation Right for You?

Posted on in Collaborative Divorce

Illinois mediation attorneyMost people who divorce choose to go through standard divorce proceedings, in family court. However, many are unaware that this is not the only option, especially if you and your spouse have a good working relationship. Mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution can often be quicker and less involved, which means that less time and money will be spent on hashing out minutiae.

The Strengths

The main strength of mediation, as opposed to a courtroom divorce, is that much more agency is left in your hands, and many legal decisions will be entirely yours and your spouse’s - indeed, unless your mediator is an attorney, they are prohibited from offering legal advice at all. That said, it can be highly advantageous to use a mediator that is an attorney, because then they will know the law and can offer guidance on more small details of the process. Even if your mediator has a law license, they cannot demand you or your spouse do anything; they can simply advise you as to the legality of any idea you may have.

Another significant strength that appeals to many people is the relative quickness of most mediation proceedings. Mediation can last as long or as short a time as you want it to, depending on how long you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are able to work together. Unlike court proceedings, where a strict schedule must be followed, it is possible to wrap up a mediation in one or two sessions and have nothing left to do but file the divorce decree.

The Weaknesses

There are weaknesses to mediation as well as strengths, but the main problem encountered by couples is that it demands being able to work together and have a good working relationship, and couples that cannot do so will draw out the process by arguing. Since there is no overarching authority to demand that a conclusion be reached, or to reach one for you and your spouse, you can argue forever if nothing changes - and a mediator can only do so much to bridge such a gap.

Another weakness that can sometimes come up is getting a clear picture of assets. If you and your spouse do not have a good working relationship, it is more likely that your spouse may decide to lie or otherwise hide assets, which can require a court to untangle. Lying on court forms about one’s assets is a civil offense, while merely lying to one’s ex-spouse is not necessarily any of crime (depending on the specific lie). If you suspect this is going on, it may be in your best interests to go through a courtroom divorce, to make sure all works out as it should.

Contact an ADR Attorney

If you are looking into divorce, and you feel that mediation might be a good fit for you and your spouse, the dedicated DuPage County alternative dispute resolution attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. might be able to assist. Contact our office today to discuss possible mediation with one of our attorneys.



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