Some divorcing couples in Illinois rely on consensual dispute resolution, commonly referred to as divorce mediation, to amicably settle their differences out of court, but the process may not be an effective option in every divorce case. While there is no set of rules to help divorcing couples determine whether divorce mediation is right for them, a careful review of the benefits and the types of situations where the process is effective may be helpful.
Although mediation is typically not recommended for couples with a history of abuse, those who cannot respectfully and honestly communicate, or those who are not committed to ending the marriage, it can be an effective solution for those who are searching for the most cost-effective way to resolve their differences during divorce. That said, couples shouldn’t search for a “divorce lawyer near me” when looking to mediate as some lawyers have far more experience doing mediations than others.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
There are multiple benefits of divorce mediation to consider. These include:
- Lowered costs – Divorces settled in court can accumulate huge bills and legal fees, but divorce mediation can reduce these costs by resolving disputes out of court.
- More fairness – Mediators can work with each party to help ensure that neither overpowers the other at any point, keeping the divorce process fair from beginning to end.
- Saved time – Mediation helps to prioritize goals, set aside emotions, and focus on common goals to save more time.
- More privacy – Divorce mediation also comes with more privacy for both parties, without the need to publicly disclose any personal and financial information that they otherwise wouldn’t want to share. This can include any details about substance abuse, physical or emotional abuse, affairs, or other sensitive information. Through mediation, these details are kept private and all personal information is destroyed at the end of the process.
- Sustained relationships – During the mediation process, couples will be able to communicate with each other without the hostility that’s often seen during the normal divorce process. This can carry on beyond mediation, which is especially beneficial for couples with children to avoid trauma. Mediation can help both spouses develop a parenting plan that works for them, averting negative emotions that could harm the family’s relationships.
While mediation isn’t for everyone, it’s a great option for couples who can communicate reasonably, have a basic level of trust, and are prepared to end the marriage on good terms.