Determining how to handle a divorce in Illinois

On behalf of Janet Boyle of BOYLE FEINBERG, P.C. posted in Divorce Mediation on Friday, March 11, 2016.

Illinois residents who are contemplating a divorce have a few options for how to handle it. When a couple cannot agree on certain issues, like custody or asset division, the divorce will need to be litigated in court. However, if a couple can work together to come to resolutions, they may be able to go through mediation.

The advantages of avoiding a litigated divorce is that the final decisions are made by the individuals involved, not a judge. Mediated divorces allow people to keep the process private, and it can be less expensive than a litigated divorce. People still have to pay for the mediator’s time, and they are normally paid by the hour, but the process is usually quicker and there is no courtroom cost.

With a mediated divorce, a third party helps guide the process of making decisions and acts as a go-between the two individuals. This person helps keep discussions on track and offers solutions that are fair to both parties. Mediators are not the ones that make the decisions, but they can help the parties come up with solutions.

Even if divorce mediation is chosen, it is important that people are aware of their rights and how state law determines various divorce legal issues such as alimony, child custody and the division of assets. Even when the end of a marriage is being handled in an informal manner rather than in the courtroom, each party should have separate legal representation, and a family law attorney can provide advice to a divorcing client throughout the process.