b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_34797886_tn.jpgOver the course of a marriage, couples can accumulate a large amount of marital assets and debts, including homes, cars, savings accounts, businesses, investments, mortgages, and more. If you decide to get a divorce, the prospect of dividing property between you and your spouse may be one of the most daunting parts of the process. However, in many cases, division of property does not have to be an ugly fight. If you and your spouse are willing to communicate and cooperate, you may be able to reach an agreement that works for both of you through divorce mediation.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Mediation allows divorcing couples to make collaborative decisions about the terms of their divorce agreement, including not only property division, but also child support, spousal support, and parenting time and responsibilities. A neutral, third-party mediator guides the discussion to promote constructive conversations and efficient resolutions, but you and your spouse maintain control over the outcome. Mediation may only be possible if you and your spouse are both interested in cooperative solutions, but when that is the case, mediation can save you the time, money, stress, and lack of privacy that you would face in a trial.

Benefits of Mediation for Division of Assets

When it comes to the distribution of property, mediation makes it possible for you and your spouse to decide upon the assets that are most important to each of you, instead of being bound by the rulings of a judge. For example, if one of you wants to keep your marital home, you may be able to negotiate for one of you to purchase the other’s share of the property. If there are other possessions that each of you holds dear, you can ensure that you maintain those possessions after your divorce. If you have significant assets in retirement accounts, you can discuss a plan to distribute them without facing early withdrawal penalties or excessive taxes. If there is a disparity in income or earning potential between you and your spouse, you can negotiate for spousal support payments to allow for a more equitable distribution.

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Posted on in Divorce Mediation

DuPage County Divorce Mediation LawyersDivorce mediation is quickly gaining popularity and is replacing divorce litigation as the “go-to” method of divorce for many couples. Why? No one wants to spend more time with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse than necessary, right?

Increasingly, that is not the case. Mediation allows divorcing couples to work together to create solutions that work best for their unique circumstances. The decisions are more personalized than those produced by a judge. Mediation also prepares couples for the collaboration needed for successful co-parenting.

Let us take a look at some of the leading benefits of choosing divorce mediation:

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Wheaton divorce mediation lawyerFor those exploring the options of divorce, mediation is often new and unexplored territory. Most people envision divorce as consisting of ugly courtroom battles between two feuding spouses, with attorneys interjecting “Objection!” whenever appropriate. While some situations certainly escalate to meet this expectation, a significant portion of the population is opting for the less stressful, less costly, and frequently more beneficial alternative known as mediation. During divorce mediation, the two parties work to reach an agreement with the assistance of a knowledgeable and neutral third party.

An Option Between DIY and Litigation

Some people refer to mediation as “divorcing without attorneys.” This is partially correct, since the two parties reach an agreement together in private, rather than leaving the future up to an impartial judge in a public courtroom. However, rather than you and your spouse sitting at a computer attempting to navigate the murky waters of divorce papers, a neutral third party is present to guide the conversation. Although it is possible to use a non-attorney mediator, a lawyer has the legal training and experience necessary to provide the sound legal advice essential to create a lasting and beneficial agreement.

Benefits of Mediation

Although mediation is not a viable option for every situation, many who choose this approach discover a more friendly, less emotionally difficult experience than the traditional alternative. Mediation is a divorce on your terms, rather than a seemingly random decision made by a judge who only knows a limited amount about you and your family.

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Posted on in Divorce Mediation

mediation, Wheaton divorce attorneyWhen you think about the legal process of divorce, do you picture a wood-trimmed courtroom with a spouse on either side and judge in the center to facilitate the standoff? This mental picture may not be exactly accurate, but it would probably be similar to the image of a divorce that most people would conjure.

What you might not know, however, is that the overwhelming majority of all civil cases—which include divorces—are not decided by a judge or jury in a courtroom. Rather, they are resolved through negotiations between the parties, and the judge’s primary role is to approve the agreement the parties have reached. One of the most common ways in which a divorcing couple reaches an agreement is through mediation. Divorce mediation offers several benefits compared to a litigated divorce, including time and money savings, scheduling flexibility, and a higher level of participation from both spouses. There is also the often-forgotten advantage of substantially increased privacy and personal security.

Court Records

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Posted on in Divorce Mediation

mediation, Wheaton divorce attorneysMediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution are fast becoming a popular substitute for a standard courtroom divorce, especially for couples who still are able to maintain a good working relationship. However, it is not uncommon to see couples commencing a mediation without a real grasp of what it actually entails, especially if they are doing so post-decree, or after a divorce decree. While everyone’s experience will be slightly different, there are some things that remain the same and some that will differ from a pre-decree mediation.

Lots of Flexibility Pre-Decree

Finding a mediator in Illinois is usually not difficult, especially in the Chicago area. There are multiple organizations that field trained mediation professionals, some (but not all) of whom are also attorneys. You must choose one if the mediation is not specifically court-ordered, but the fee to hire a mediator is generally split between both parties—though if you prefer, one party may foot the bill in exchange for assets or another advantage. The decision is up to the couple, as are most in this process.

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