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Benefits of Mediation for Illinois Parenting Plans

Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County family attorneys, Illinois parenting plansWithin 120 days after filing a petition to allocate parental responsibilities for a minor child, divorcing parents must file a proposed parenting plan that covers decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. It is great when parents can agree on the parenting plan, but that is not always possible.

There are numerous meticulous details involved with planning out your child’s life, which you must address at a time when emotions may be running high over disputes with your spouse. Fortunately, the court can order your case to mediation to assist with developing a parenting plan and it is a process that presents benefits for your entire family.

Court-Ordered Mediation to Develop a Parenting Plan

Under Illinois law, the court “shall” order mediation to help parents in formulating a parenting plan—unless there are barriers to suggest that mediation will not work. Therefore, you should expect to engage in the mediation process if you cannot agree with your child’s other parent on the parenting plan. In addition, if you do agree on some provisions and disagree on others, you may still be required to mediate only the disputed issues.

Advantages of Mediation

While you may not be pleased that a court orders mediation in your case due to a lack of agreement with your spouse, there are a number of benefits that may change your mind:

  • A qualified, credentialed mediator presides over the process. This professional has finely tuned skills that help guide the parties to meaningful discussions, putting parents in a better position to resolve their disputes;
  • Both parents get the chance to present their point of view in an unofficial setting. A mediation is not a trial, so the procedural rules are somewhat relaxed to encourage expression of different perspectives;
  • The mediation is confidential, so anything you say will not be part of the public record—unlike court proceedings; and
  • A mediator does not make a decision on the parenting plan in your case. The role of a mediation professional is to facilitate useful conversations with a goal of reaching resolution. Therefore, you are not bound by any findings.

Success in Divorce Mediation Starts with the Right Attorney

If you cannot agree on a parenting plan with your spouse, a court may order your case to mediation—which is a much preferable solution to the judge making the decision. There are a number of advantages to using mediation to resolve disputes over parenting plans, and the benefits can last long past the final order for divorce. For the best possible results from mediation, it is important to have an attorney representing your interests. A qualified lawyer will ensure your voice is heard and will help guide you through the process. Please contact the dedicated DuPage County family attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC, with questions about your case.



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