If you are your partner agree on some subjects related to the divorce but are torn on child custody, mediation may offer an alternative method that allows for an expeditious solution and civil relations with the other party. Some couples don’t want the added complication and expense of going through litigation, and mediation provides a forum with a neutral third-party mediator focused on helping you reach a resolution.
Illinois Supreme Court rules indicate the importance of child custody proceedings that are child-focused, fair, and expeditious. The Supreme Court has continued to research and expand mediation efforts across the state with regard to child custody.
Mediation is non-adversarial, and the mediator does not take sides. The neutral atmosphere tends to keep parents focused on an end goal together. This can lay the groundwork for a civil communication procedure between parents post-divorce. When parents have had practice interacting appropriately, it makes transitioning the children from one parent to another for visitation and custody much easier and limits the tension that children might experience as they adjust to their new life.
Mediation allows both parties to share their side of the story, their sticking points, and their suggested solutions. What can unfold, under the guidance of an experienced mediator, is a more creative and personalized solution that ends up being better for both parents and the involved children. In a courtroom, the judge has the final say on what the child custody arrangement looks like, but mediation gives parents the opportunity to work with one another to generate customized arrangements.
Using this method of alternative dispute resolution can make the divorce easier on your children, too. In a litigation atmosphere, your attorney’s job is to do everything in his or her power to fight for your side of the story. Even without intending to create it, what may unfold is a situation where children feel trapped in the middle. Attempting to work things out through an Illinois child custody mediator may be the best way to resolve your dispute.