1. What is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, helps two or more parties reach an agreement. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties, but rather helps them to communicate and negotiate with each other. Mediation is a voluntary process, and the parties can end the mediation at any time.
Mediation can be used to resolve a variety of disputes, including divorce, family law, business disputes, and employment disputes. Mediation is often seen as a more cost-effective and efficient way to resolve disputes than litigation. In other words, when you mediate, you may have an agreement, but in the context of Illinois family law, it is not a parenting plan.
2. The benefits of mediation
- It is a more cost-effective way to resolve disputes than litigation.
- It is a more efficient way to resolve disputes than litigation.
- It is a more confidential way to resolve disputes than litigation.
- It is a more flexible way to resolve disputes than litigation.
- It can help to preserve relationships.
- It can help to resolve disputes in a way that is fair to both parties.
- It can resolve disputes in a manner that is more personal
3. The drawbacks of mediation
- It is not always successful.
- It can be time-consuming.
- It can be difficult to get the parties to agree to mediation.
- It can be difficult to get the parties to compromise.
- The mediation may not resolve all disputes
4. When is mediation appropriate?
Mediation is appropriate for a variety of disputes, but it is especially appropriate for disputes where the parties want to maintain a relationship, such as divorce or family law disputes. Mediation is also a good option for disputes where the parties want to resolve the dispute quickly and efficiently.
5. When is mediation required?
Mediation is required in Illinois in two circumstances. First, if you are trying to change your old parenting plan, parenting allocation or custody order, it is required that you attempt to mediate your dispute before asking the Court to change the Orders. Second, it is required in divorces if parents are unable to reach an agreed parenting plan. This law came into effect in 2006 and is required in all cases where parents are unable to resolve the dipsute themselves before the Court proceeds to the next steps. Research has shown that mediation in these circumstances resolves some issues and gives parents more control over the outcomes.
6. How can mediation save you money in your divorce?
Mediation can actually save divorcing couples considerable amounts of money. First, it can be used to reach agreements before either person retains a lawyer. Since most mediators are lawyers in this area, they know what topics need to be resolved as a part of divorce. Second, if mediation it does not resolve every issue, it can be used to resolve some issues. This means that divorcing persons know which issues do not need much more attention and which issues they will need to have resolved in Court. This means, however, that out the outset, both people need to agree that the results of the mediation are going to be shared with their respective lawyers. Third, it can help divorcing couples learn to cooperate in new ways, which has benefits in the future, especially if there are children involved.
7. Why a lawyer cannot do both mediation and representation
There is a conflict of interest if a lawyer does both mediation and representation in the same case. As a mediator, the lawyer has a duty to be neutral and to help the parties reach an agreement. As a representative, the lawyer has a duty to advocate for the client's interests. These two roles are incompatible.
I am a mediator and a lawyer. I can help families mediate if they want to see what issues can be resolved and which cannot. I charge a flat fee for my mediation and conduct in person and by zoom. If you want an attorney who has been licensed for nearly 20 years to help resolve your issues in her quirky way, reach out or call me.