Skokie Divorce Mediation Attorney
Divorce Mediation Services from Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C.
Mediation is an excellent way to resolve your divorce. It is a less stressful way to reach an agreement with your spouse and can save you time and money. The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. have been helping clients achieve their goals through mediation in Skokie, IL. We are committed to helping you reach an agreement that is best for you, your spouse, and your children.
Our Skokie divorce mediation lawyers can help you with issues related to:
- Child custody and visitation
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Property division
- Debt division
- Business valuation
- And more
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What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation in Illinois is a voluntary and confidential process where divorcing couples collaborate with a neutral mediator to address the various aspects of their divorce. The decisions made during mediation are not legally binding until they are formalized in a legally enforceable divorce agreement, typically known as a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA).
Mediation offers many benefits for divorcing couples:
- Preserve Your Relationships: One of the primary benefits of divorce mediation is that it helps maintain amicable relationships between spouses, which can be especially crucial if you have children together. Mediation fosters open communication and cooperation, ensuring that both parties have a voice in the outcome.
- Cost-Effective: Compared to traditional litigation, divorce mediation is generally more affordable. There are fewer court appearances, and the process is often quicker, resulting in lower legal fees. This can help both parties move forward with their lives more financially stable.
- Confidentiality: Mediation offers a private and confidential setting, where sensitive matters can be discussed without the fear of public exposure. Court proceedings, on the other hand, are generally public records.
- Control Over the Outcome: In mediation, you and your spouse retain control over the decisions that affect your future, rather than having a judge impose rulings upon you. This empowerment can lead to more satisfactory and enduring agreements.
- Reduced Stress: Divorce is inherently stressful, but mediation aims to reduce that stress by fostering cooperation rather than confrontation. It provides a safe space for expressing concerns and finding mutually beneficial solutions.
Mediation is also a good option if you have a complicated divorce. It can help you avoid the stress and high legal fees associated with litigation.
The Process of Divorce Mediation
The process of divorce mediation involves a series of steps designed to help divorcing couples reach mutually acceptable agreements on various issues related to their divorce.
Here's a general overview of the divorce mediation process:
- Initial Consultation: The process typically begins with an initial consultation, during which the mediator explains their role, the mediation process, and the goals of mediation. The couple can also ask questions and decide whether they want to proceed with mediation.
- Selection of a Mediator: If the couple decides to proceed, they may choose a qualified and experienced mediator. In some cases, courts or attorneys may recommend a mediator.
- First Mediation Session: The first mediation session is scheduled, and both spouses, along with their attorneys if they have them, meet with the mediator. During this session, the mediator explains the ground rules, the importance of open communication, and the need for cooperation throughout the process.
- Identifying Issues: The mediator helps the couple identify and prioritize the issues that need to be addressed in their divorce. Common issues include property division, child custody, visitation, child support, and spousal maintenance (alimony).
- Gathering Information: Both spouses provide the necessary financial and legal documents, such as income statements, asset and debt inventories, and any relevant legal agreements, to facilitate informed decision-making.
- Open Discussion: The mediator facilitates open and respectful discussions between the spouses. They help the couple communicate effectively, express their concerns and interests, and work together to find common ground.
- Negotiation and Problem-Solving: With the mediator's assistance, the couple engages in negotiation and problem-solving to reach agreements on each issue. The mediator may offer suggestions, provide legal information, and help generate creative solutions.
- Drafting Agreements: Once the couple reaches agreements on all the divorce-related issues, the mediator drafts a comprehensive divorce agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the settlement. This agreement is often referred to as a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA).
- Review by Attorneys: It's advisable for each spouse to have their attorney review the MSA to ensure their legal rights and interests are protected. Attorneys may suggest modifications if necessary.
- Finalizing the Agreement: After any revisions and final approval, the MSA is signed by both spouses. Depending on state laws, it may need to be filed with the court for approval and incorporation into the final divorce decree.
- Completion of the Divorce: Once the court approves the MSA and issues a divorce decree, the divorce is considered finalized, and the terms of the agreement become legally binding.
- Post-Divorce Communication: In some cases, mediation may continue after the divorce to address any issues that arise in the future, such as modifications to child custody or support arrangements.
Our team will work with you to customize an agreement that fits your needs. We can even help you with documents related to the agreement, so you do not have to leave our office with unanswered questions.
- Attorneys Who Provide One-on-One Personal Attention
- Night & Weekend Appointments Available
- Constant Communication & Excellent Response Times
- Consultations to Evaluate Your Case