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Divorcing Couples Find Understanding through Mediation

By Nottage and Ward on November 7, 2011

The traditional route of courtroom litigation is often the “default” course of action for a married couple seeking divorce; however, it is not the only option. Courtroom litigation tends to make a separating couple’s relationship worse by pitting one against the other while each try to persuade the judge to rule in his or her favor. The ultimate decision is made by a judge, based on what he or she thinks is best for the divorcing couple and their family. In the end, the couple does not make decisions about their own family and their relationship is often worse off for it.

Not all divorcing couples separate on civil terms, but for those that make the decision together, there is an alternative to the inherent animosity of a court battle. Mediation is a viable alternative to litigation for a couple that still maintains a civil relationship and wants to make their own decisions about what is best for themselves and, if they have any, their children. In Illinois, custody mediation is mandatory prior to forging into full-blown custody litigation.

Mediation is basically a facilitated discussion involving a professionally trained mediator and the couple. Both spouses sit down together, in a private setting, and work towards coming to a legally binding agreement on the various aspects of a divorce settlement, such as:

  • Child custody and support;
  • Spousal support, or maintenance;
  • Child visitation;
  • Division of marital debt; and
  • Division of property.

It is best, in such a situation, to consult with an experienced family law attorney to make sure both spouses have addressed and understand all issues related to their divorce.

At Nottage and Ward, our knowledgeable Chicago mediation attorneys are committed to helping our clients come to a legal agreement that is acceptable and in line with Illinois law. We regularly work with trained mediators to ensure that our clients come to an agreement that is best for them and their family. If you believe mediation is the best path for you and your spouse, or are not sure if formal litigation suits your relationship, we are available to answer all of your questions and help you make an informed decision. Call us today at (312) 332-2915.

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