Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation that couples can choose to resolve issues. In Illinois, this method involves a neutral third party who assists the parties with resolving conflict. This mediator is responsible for facilitating communication between the parties, and assisting while they negotiate an agreement .
Like any approach, divorce mediation has its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of mediation
Mediation offers a neutral approach to handling the divorce agreement. This in turn offers a more private, self-controlled way to handle your case. It may also save you money, as litigated divorces can be very expensive. With mediation, you collectively pay for the mediator instead of getting separate attorneys.
Mediation also encourages an open dialogue between the couple because you are interacting directly to resolve issues. Additionally, mediation is voluntary. Both spouses can agree on a mediator, and not be held to the suggestions of that mediator.
Cons of mediation
Mediation can only be effective if both parties are willing to participate. As a voluntary process, productivity depends on both parties being on board. Without an attorney, no one is advising you to make the best decisions. The mediator is there to help negotiate, but does not give legal advice. Mediation is not the only cordial resolution to the issues decided during the divorce process. You can still settle issues amicably while working with a divorce attorney.
Mediation may not be useful if you cannot engage in open dialogue with each other. If you are subject to domestic violence or another issue within your relationship, mediation may not be the option for you. It is important to remember that successful mediation is not a guarantee. You may consider consulting with a lawyer in the event mediation is not the right option for your situation.