If you were asked to picture a divorce proceeding, would you think about a courtroom with a husband on one side, a wife on the other, and a judge in the middle to officiate the battle? While the image in your head may not be quite so stereotypical, it is likely that your concept—like that of most people—is something similar. What you may not realize, though, is that the vast majority of civil cases, including divorce, are not decided in the courtroom; instead, they are negotiated in other ways and a judge is only required to approve the settlement and enter it as part the judgment. Mediation is among the most common methods used to reach an agreement in a divorce, and the process offers a number of advantages, including time and cost savings, flexibility, and increased participation from both parties. There is one additional benefit, however, that is often overlooked: a dramatically increased sense of privacy and security.
When your divorce or child-related case is heard inside a courtroom, a court reporter is always present to make a permanent record of the proceedings. Virtually every word is recorded in written form so as create a transcript for any needed future reference. The proceeding itself, along with the transcript, become a matter of public record, unless there is a particular reason or order that they should not.
What this means, effectively, is that anything pertinent to your matter, possibly including your income, your investments, your parenting philosophy, your indiscretions, and countless other elements could be made available to the public at large. While you may have nothing to hide, you may not be interested in your life becoming public record.
Privacy Benefit of Mediation
In mediation, you and your spouse—or other party, as appropriate—meet with a third-party mediator to negotiate a resolution to your matter. While the mediator will probably take notes during the session, anything that is said or discussed remains between the parties and the mediators, with exceedingly rare exceptions. The resulting agreement and, of course, the judgment are entered into the public record but the information exchanged leading to the settlement is not. This can allow you to freely and openly pursue a reasonable resolution without fear of exposing personal information or details to the public.
To learn more about the mediation process and how it could potentially benefit you, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. At our law firm, we are committed to helping families find creative and amicable solutions whenever possible and are ready to provide you with the responsible, knowledgeable representation you deserve. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule your free initial consultation today.