What is Mediation

Benefits of Mediation
Drawbacks to Mediation
What traits should I look for in a Mediator

In family law, spouses can choose to mediate all of the financial, visitation and custody issues which accompany any divorce, including division of the marital estate, pension benefits, maintenance, child support issues, custody and visitation. Issues which are most often covered in mediation include the following:

  • terms governing child custody
  • terms governing visitation
  • maintenance / unallocated support payments
  • structure of future payments in light of tax considerations
  • educational plans for the children
  • disposition of the marital residence
  • division of marital and non marital property
  • division of marital and non marital debt

 Benefits of Mediation

Mediation offers those clients who are willing to sit down face-to-face with their spouses an opportunity to create their own settlement within the limits of the law. If two people wish to divorce amicably and simply need some help in understanding the laws governing distribution of marital assets, custody or visitation issues, mediation can quickly identify the issues and result in a negotiated settlement without the upset and significant costs associated with court action. Also where children are involved mediation is usually less confrontational and provides a setting for both parents to voice their concerns which often results in a more fine-tuned and agreeable joint parenting agreement.

 Drawbacks of Mediation

Mediation is not for everyone. Next to violent crime and terminal illness, divorce ranks as one of the most traumatic experiences of a person’s life. Sometimes we are caught completely off guard or completely unprepared upon being served with divorce papers. One or both parties may be unready or unwilling to sit in the same room to discuss the final disposition of the marital estate. Under those circumstances, Isabel M. Millard, PC will often refer one or both parties to the appropriate professional counselor. Mediation is also inappropriate if one or both parties are unable to control the anger which often accompanies an unexpected breakup. In those cases, it is often most helpful for each party to retain separate legal counsel.

 What Traits Should I Look For in a Mediator

Credentials are important. If you are seeking to mediate a divorce settlement, then look for a mediator who is knowledgeable in the governing laws of your State. At Isabel M. Millard, PC, our mediators are also licensed attorneys who concentrate their practice solely in the area of family law. Ask for a consultation prior to entering into an agreement with any mediator. You and your spouse should interview prospective mediators together.

Choosing a mediator is much like choosing a physician. Rapport is important. Remember, you will be discussing some of the most intimate details of your family, so you need to choose a mediator you are comfortable talking in front of and sitting with in a room. If you feel rushed or uncomfortable or have any doubts, ask for a recommendation for other family law mediators in the area.

 

 

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Isabel M. Millard, PC
100 S. York
Suite 220-224
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
Phone: 630-279-2229
Fax: 630-279-2252
imm@illinois-collaborative-law.com


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