What Are the Benefits of Mediation in Illinois Child Custody Disputes?

For parents who are considering divorce, child custody is likely one of their top concerns. Deciding how to divide parental responsibilities after divorce is no easy task – especially when parents disagree about what is best for their children. Resolving these disagreements through courtroom litigation can be expensive, stressful, and may damage the parents’ ability to successfully co-parent in the future. One alternative dispute resolution option that many divorcing parents find useful is mediation. Through the Illinois family law mediation process, parents may be able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and other divorce-related issues.

Mediation Is a Constructive, Collaborative Process

In Illinois, parents with child-related conflicts may be required to attend mediation or the parents may decide to use a mediator voluntarily. During the mediation process, a qualified mediator will help parents negotiate child-related issues in a cooperative, non-adversarial manner. The mediator does not make decisions on behalf of the parents or choose one parent’s side over the other. Instead, the mediator facilitates productive conversations so that parents can determine a child custody arrangement that works for both of them. Parents may choose to involve their respective attorneys in the mediation meetings or they may choose to consult with their attorneys before and after the meetings.

Resolving Child-Related Conflicts Through Mediation

Mediation offers a variety of benefits for divorcing parents. First, mediation puts parents in charge of deciding their own child custody arrangement instead of the court. This makes parents much more likely to comply with their agreed-upon parenting plan. During mediation, parents work together to reach a solution instead of working against each other. This helps the parents begin their post-divorce co-parenting relationship with a level of respect and understanding that they may not have ever achieved without mediation. As compared to litigation, mediation is also a very cost-effective strategy since there are no court costs. Another major advantage of mediation is that, unlike court litigation, the discussions that take place during mediation are confidential. Although a number of divorcing parents find mediation to be beneficial, it is not for everyone. Parents with a history of domestic violence and those who cannot negotiate child-related concerns in a reasonable, non-threatening manner are not typically encouraged to attend mediation.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Lawyer

Mediation may help you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse reach a mutual resolution regarding divorce issues without the need for court litigation. To learn more about the mediation process and find out if mediation is right for your particular situation, contact the competent law firm of Prime Law Group, LLC. We have helped countless individuals resolve their divorce issues quickly and effectively. Furthermore, many of our accomplished Woodstock family law attorneys are also experienced mediators themselves. Call our office today at 815-338-2040 and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your legal needs.