4 reasons that couples in Illinois should explore a mediated divorce

Couples in Illinois who are getting divorced may want to explore the option of mediation before moving to litigation.

Under Illinois law, an alternative dispute resolution known as mediation is required for divorcing couples who have children. According to the Illinois Courts, the state's highest court has mandated mediation for any cases in which visitation and child custody will be an issue.

However, using mediation to resolve other issues surrounding the end of a marriage can also be beneficial. The following outline several of the advantages to working with a trained mediator:

1. A more affordable option

As a report in Forbes magazine points out, a mediated divorce often saves couples money because it can sidestep the litigation process. Court fees can be nonexistent when a couple can work together to reach an agreement on issues such as property division and child custody. In fact, a report from the American Bar Association notes that mediation expenses are typically between 40 and 60 percent less than litigating a divorce.

2. Quicker turnaround

Mediation can often help couples in Illinois resolve issues quicker and more efficiently than if they had to go through the court system. Instead of waiting weeks and even months for the next court date, a couple can identify and resolve issues over the span of just a few mediation sessions. During mediation, a neutral, trained mediator will assist both parties in coming up with a mutually acceptable agreement.

3. Better for children

Children can be especially vulnerable during a divorce. Parents who do their best to keep the peace during the process can ease the burden on the kids. The ABA points out that children can actually benefit through seeing their parents working together to resolve conflict. Further, parents who can cooperate are more likely to come up with suitable joint custody plans, which enable children to have relationships with both parties.

4. Keeping it confidential

As the Huffington Post points out, a litigated divorce can quickly become public. Couples in the courtroom may have to plead their cases in public, even when the issues seem private. Mediation occurs in a serene, private setting, and the communication that occurs is often kept confidential.

A mediated divorce in Illinois can help couples who split to continue an amicable relationship, which can be beneficial for everyone involved. Those who do not come to an agreement during mediation can take their case to court, where a judge will rule on key issues such as dividing marital assets and how much one person may owe in child or spousal support.

Divorce can be emotionally stressful, but the process does not have to be fraught with challenges. Anyone who has questions about mediating a divorce in Illinois should consult with an attorney.