I recently attended a 40 hour Divorce Mediation Skills Training Program at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies in Chicago. I really enjoyed the course and it was eye opening to view the divorce process from a mediator’s perspective and see what happens in a mediation. I look forward to conducting mediations with spouses who decide that route is appropriate for resolving their disputes.
For anyone who may not be familiar with mediation, mediation is an alternative to litigation to assist divorcing parties in resolving disputes. In mediation, the two parties work with one mediator who is a neutral. The role of the mediator is to facilitate resolution of some or all of the issues in dispute. The mediator does this by assisting the parties in identifying the issues and the parties’ respective interests and positions. The mediator then works with the parties to explore possible solutions that will satisfy the interests of all parties. The most unique aspect of mediation is that it allows the parties to maintain complete control over their settlement and the outcome of their case. Additionally, if spouses are able to resolve their case via mediation, in whole or in part, it is considerably less expensive than traditional litigation.
Mediation is required pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule for parents who are in conflict over custody, visitation, removal and other issues related to their children, except for child support. In Cook County, a rule was recently enacted that the Court can order parties to mediation for non-child related issues. Examples of non-child related issues that the Court may order to mediation are disputes over support, payment of expenses, allocation of debt and division of property. Mediation for domestic relations cases in Cook County, Illinois is governed by Cook County Circuit Court Rule 13.4(e).
As a domestic relations attorney, I am very excited about mediation. I see mediation, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, as an excellent alternative to litigation. It is always ideal when parties can resolve their differences without court intervention and mediation is a cost effective way to accomplish this. I look forward to assisting parties in resolving their disputes via mediation.
Please call me to inquire about my mediation services – 312-981-5115.