Skip to content

Overview of the divorce mediation process

On behalf of Janet Boyle of Boyle Feinberg Sharma posted in Divorce Mediation on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Mediation has many benefits for couples who are going through a divorce in Illinois. For many spouses, a mediated divorce can be much less stressful than divorce proceedings that are litigated in front of a judge in a courtroom. Using mediation, spouses can also save money on their divorce and reach agreements about child custody and property division that are more personalized to their unique situation.

Although a mediated divorce is the best solution for many people, it is not the right option for settling every divorce case. Spouses who are going through a mediated divorce must be able to communicate with each other respectfully in order for the process to be effective. A divorce that involves allegations of domestic violence is usually not suitable for mediation.

During divorce mediation sessions, the mediator is not the ultimate decision maker the way that a judge is. The mediator’s job is to facilitate communication between two parties so that they can reach agreements that they are both satisfied with. None of the agreements that are reached during mediation will be legally binding unless both parties sign off on them and they are made a part of court orders. If spouses are able to work out divorce issues successfully in mediation, they can usually save a considerable portion of what they would have paid for a litigated divorce.

A person who is going through a mediated divorce might want to have representation from an attorney. While a mediator is working with the couple, an attorney will be a representative for one spouse’s interests. An attorney’s presence at mediation sessions may help a client to ensure that his or her position on important issues is properly articulated.

Source: American Bar Association, “Benefits of Mediation in Divorce Cases”, Holly Clemente, accessed on March 3, 2015