Court Ordered Mediation in Illinois
There are many issues that must be figured out during a divorce, including property division, parenting time, and parental decision making responsibility. Courts prefer situations in which couples are able to work out these issues themselves instead of going through the lengthy and labor intensive litigation process.
In Illinois, if a divorcing couple does not already have an agreement about issues related to parenting when they come to court, in many cases the court will order the couple to attempt to engage in mediation.
To save yourself from the headaches (and costs) of going to court in order to be sent to mediation, you may want to start by talking to a knowledgeable mediation attorney before the court gets involved.
Mediation is a process where the couple tries to reach agreements about important issues with a skilled third-party neutral mediator leading the process. In successful mediation, the divorcing couple will be able to find an arrangement that accommodates both parties. Furthermore, with mediation, the couple can come up with creative solutions that work for them collectively.
When is Court Mediation Ordered?
Different states have different rules about when mediation will be court ordered. In Illinois, divorcing couples that have children together must file a parenting plan within 120 days of the divorce papers being served. Parenting plans address the major issues of raising children, including who the children will live with and how parenting time and parental decision making responsibilities will be allocated. If the couple cannot agree to a parenting plan, then the court will often order the parties to attempt mediation.
However, there are cases where the couple will not be ordered to mediation. This is generally when there has been a history of violence or abuse between the couple. Also, if there is an order of protection for one of the parties against the other, mediation would also not usually be ordered. The judge has the final say as to whether or not mediation should be attempted and he or she will take into account all the aspects of the relationship.
What if Mediation Does Not Work?
It is important to understand that even though mediation may be court ordered, there is no requirement that mediation solve everything. If the couple does not come to an agreement about important issues through mediation, then they can ask for an extension to try more mediation, or they can move on to litigation.
Contact DuPage County Mediation Attorneys Today
Mediation is often an easier and less expensive way to come to decisions about property division, parental responsibility, and parenting time during a divorce. Our passionate DuPage County mediation attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can help you and your spouse come to these agreements before the court gets involved so you can reach a solution that works for you without judicial interference.