Illinois Divorce Mediation

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Points discussed in Illinois Divorce Mediation

  • Separation of non marital and marital debt
  • Separation of non marital and marital property
  • Disposition of the marital residence
  • Educational plans for the children
  • Nature of payments in future pertaining to tax
  • Alimony / unallocated support payments
  • Terms that control visitation
  • Terms that control child custody

Cons of Illinois Divorce Mediation

A large number of mediators are not lawyers. These mediators concentrate on the psychological and emotional aspects of the case and fail to provide legal information or legal advice. It has been frequently observed that a majority of divorcing partners do not take guidance from a lawyer before meeting a mediator. These partners initially prepare a written copy of the agreement and then request their lawyer to review it. If the lawyer finds problems with this mediation agreement, then there are subsequent mediation sessions. If this process becomes repetitive, then there is possibility that the mediation may be derailed. Here, collaborative law comes into the picture.

Due to an unexpected breakup, it becomes difficult for the parties to keep their anger in control. In such circumstances, mediation is not recommended.

Sometimes the parties are reluctant to sit in the same room and discuss the final separation of the marital estate. In this case, mediation is not possible and the parties have to seek a professional counselor.

Why mediation is crucial?

  • The parties are about to make a mandatory agreement that deals with all the points that affects the parties and their children for the remaining life
  • The parties are handling one of the most potent psychological and emotional issues that they would ever possibly face
  • The parties are making the largest economical decisions of their life
  • The parties are working in the absence of a net

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 905

The Supreme Court Rule 905 is related to Mediation and was rectified and made effective from 1st January 2007.

Paragraph a: If the case involves the visitation or child custody issues, every judicial circuit shall create a program to offer mediation.

Paragraph b: If the case is about dissolution of marriage and paternity cases about visitation or child custody issues, every judicial circuit shall create a program to offer mediation.

If the Court feels that there are circumstances which unreasonably interfere with the mediation process or which leave mediation inappropriate, then the parties may not be referred to mediation under both paragraphs a and b. Few of the impediments to mediation are as follows-

  • Chemical dependency
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Cognitive or mental impairment
  • Family violence

As a result of Rule 905, the number of courts in this state that needed mediation in child custody cases is increasing day by day. In several cases, child custody disputes were referred to 2 mediation sessions before permitting the case to enter the trial stage. After Rule 905 became effective, if there was any dispute in litigated cases regarding visitation or custody, the parties were referred mediation and they had to undergo a parenting class.

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