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How Does the Divorce Mediation Process Work?

 Posted on August 10, 2021 in Mediation

Joliet divorce mediation attorneyEven though divorce is common, there are a lot of misconceptions about the process. Movies and TV shows can make the breakup of marriage seem very dramatic, with couples and their attorneys fighting legal battles in courtroom trials. In reality, most divorces are handled outside of the courtroom, and while spouses may be represented by attorneys, they usually work to reach a settlement, and they may only attend court to finalize the divorce process. In many cases, the best way to complete the divorce process quickly, efficiently, and effectively is through mediation.

Understanding the Mediation Process

When a couple uses mediation, they will agree to work together to create a divorce settlement that they can both agree on. They will do so with the help of a mediator, and while the mediator may be an attorney, they will not represent either party. Instead, the mediator is a neutral advisor who helps facilitate discussions while suggesting possible solutions and making sure the spouses address all outstanding issues.

Mediation usually takes place over several sessions which may last one or more hours. During these sessions, the spouses will identify the issues that need to be addressed and resolved, and they will work together to reach agreements. Matters that may be discussed may include:

  • Property division - Spouses can identify all of the marital assets they own and determine how to divide these assets fairly. The mediator may help spouses understand the ways different property may be valued, as well as any issues related to complex assets such as real estate, retirement benefits, or business interests. By working together to reach the most mutually beneficial arrangements, addressing ownership of property that may have sentimental value, and determining how to divide marital debts, the spouses can ensure that their divorce settlement will provide each of them with the financial resources they need.

  • Child custody - The mediator can help divorcing parents create a parenting plan that fully details how they will work together to raise their children. This plan will detail how the parents will make decisions for their children, while also including a schedule for the parenting time children will spend with each parent. It can also address any other issues the parents want to include, such as rules they will follow, appropriate methods of discipline, and methods they will use to resolve any disputes that may arise in the future. By cooperating during mediation to resolve child-related issues, parents can establish the foundation for a new co-parenting relationship that will allow them to work together to provide for their children’s best interests in the years to come.

  • Spousal support - In some cases, one spouse may need financial support from the other spouse to maintain their standard of living following divorce. Mediation will allow spouses to address this issue and ensure that a stay-at-home parent or a spouse who earns a lower income will be able to meet their needs and take steps to become self-supporting. The spouses can discuss their individual financial circumstances and reach agreements on whether spousal support will be appropriate, the amount that will be paid, and the length of time that payments will last.

At the conclusion of the mediation process, the spouses will have a final divorce settlement that addresses all issues related to the dissolution of their marriage. Both spouses must be in complete agreement about all of the terms of their settlement. They can then attend a prove-up hearing where a judge will sign off on their divorce decree and legally dissolve their marriage.

Contact Our Plainfield Divorce Mediation Lawyers

At the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., we help our clients understand when mediation may be a beneficial way to resolve divorce disputes. We help spouses prepare for the mediation process and ensure that they understand their rights. If there are any issues that cannot be resolved through mediation, we can advocate on our clients’ behalf during courtroom litigation. Contact our Joliet divorce mediation attorneys at 815-666-1285 to set up a free consultation today.


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