Divorce mediation is an alternative to traditional litigation which can be less adversarial and costly to couples seeking a divorce. When seeking the services of a mediator, it is important to choose one with experience who possesses complete familiarity with the divorce laws in your state and is able to assist you with necessary court filings, making family law attorneys who offer mediation services a good place to start.
Because couples often hope to save money through his mediation process, find out how much the mediator charges before hiring him or her. If you and your spouse decide to move forward with mediation, reach an agreement on how you will pay for the mediation services – some couples split the fee after each session or reimburse the other after the case concludes through the division of assets.
Once you have set a date and time to begin the mediation process, the homework begins. Start by gathering documentation of all income and make a list of all of your assets and possessions including all real property, personal property, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other financial products.
Also note all reoccurring expenses and debt such as loans, credit card payments, and mortgage payments. Finally, make a list of goals you hope to achieve regarding the division of marital assets and debt along with a budget of what you think you will need post-divorce. Providing a thorough accounting and a road map of where you want to land after the divorce will make the mediation sessions more productive saving you time and money.
If there are children involved, it is important to establish some ground rules for communicating because even if your marriage is dissolving, your job as parents will continue long into the future. Develop a parenting plan to include parenting time arrangements beneficial to the child and the parenting responsibility each parent will have. Consider who will be play a role in such important life decisions such as medical needs, where children will attend school, or what religion they will observe. An experienced mediator can shed light on issues you may face now and in the future so that you can make informed decisions in your child’s best interests.
Illinois Divorce Mediation Attorneys
The attorneys at the Lake county Illinois family law offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC have extensive mediation experience and can help you decide if mediation is a good strategy for your family. We have decades of experience and training in family law mediation and can advise you on any legal consequences that may arise from exercising this option over traditional litigation. Both Michael Strauss and Gary Schlesinger are certified as mediators, and are also family law court approved mediators. We provide mediation services in all family law related matters including:
- Divorce and legal separation
- Division of marital property
- Spousal support / alimony
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support agreements
Contact our offices today at 847-680-4970 for more information regarding our family law mediation services.