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What happens during Court Ordered Mediation?


There are typically two instances in which people attend mediation: voluntarily to settle a dispute outside of court or as a result of court ordered mediation. In family law, mediation is most often utilized as an alternative to litigating issues before a judge. If the parties are unsuccessful in finding a resolution during mediation, returning to court is most often the next step.

If you have been notified of court ordered mediation you must attend. Any child custody or child visitation case filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, whether through a divorce or parentage action, courts mandate parties to attend mediation unless the parties are able to reach an agreement on their own. Nevertheless, in certain instances, such as cases involving domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness or child abuse, a judge has the authority to keep the parties out of mediation. Furthermore, if circumstances are presented that the parties should not be in close proximity, such as one having an order of protection against the other, mediation would not be considered a viable option. read more

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Joint Custody vs Sole Custody in Illinois

joint custody

How do Illinois judges determine joint custody or sole custody?

Determining child custody is typically the most highly-contested and heated issue one will encounter, for obvious reasons. Litigants who are encountering divorce (or a parentage action) for the first time are typically without the requisite knowledge regarding the differences between joint legal custody and sole legal custody of a child.

Joint Custody is predicated on two parents working together to co-parent a child. A joint custodial relationship requires good communication between the parents and the ability to work together to make important decisions regarding the child. For example, decisions concerning the child’s health, education, and religion must be made jointly by the parents, taking the child’s best interests into consideration. A stipulation between parties as to joint custody will culminate in the entry of a joint parenting agreement, which outlines the respective rights and responsibilities of the parents when it comes to parenting their child. In the event the parties to a joint parenting agreement have a disagreement when it comes to decisions impacting the child, the joint parenting agreement will direct the parties to attempt to resolve the issue with a certified mediator, prior to returning to court. In the event the mediator is unable to resolve the issue with the parties, the last resort will be bringing the issue before a judge for adjudication. read more

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