Mediation is considered an out-of-court solution that allows the parties to resolve legal issues in an amicable manner. Mediation offers divorcing couples an excellent alternative to traditional litigation in a court of law which can save time, money and emotional angst. At Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions, LLC, our team helps parties define the issues at hand, facilitates communication between the two sides, and aids in reaching mutually agreeable legal solutions. Our attorneys have over forty years of combined experience in finding practical ways to reach or renegotiate agreements.
Mediation is one type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) technique that allows families to resolve disagreements over spousal maintenance, child support, allocation of parental responsibilities (or child custody), parenting time, or property division, through effective communication. Parties choosing mediation can express concerns in a less formal environment than a courtroom and have the possibility of resolving issues without negatively impacting their children.
Mediation, however, is not for all families and works best when opposing parties are willing to communicate openly and cooperate regarding the issues at hand. As an essential part of this process, a mediation attorney will help the parties understand how to best reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
Through the use of mediation, parties can make sure that their pending divorce matters are resolved in as positive a manner as possible. The many benefits of choosing mediation include:
- Increased Chance of Compliance – When parties agree to terms in mediation, they are more likely to be satisfied with the solution. When an individual has more say in the mediation terms, he or she is also more likely to follow the agreement and to be open to negotiations in the future should circumstances change.
- Greater Privacy – In mediation cases, parties can keep matters private. This privacy element, however, does not extend to cases involving threats of bodily injury, abandonment, abuse, or neglect as the court is involved if charges have been filed.
- Increased Speed – Mediation allows individuals to resolve disputes in a more time-efficient manner than litigation, which has the potential to last months or even years.
- Reduced Costs – Because mediation often takes less time than courtroom litigation, couples frequently have lower attorney’s fees and save money when divorcing.
Some of the most common family law issues that can be mediated include:
- Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (Child Custody) – Mediation can be used to help spouses in the divorce process reach agreement regarding their children while avoiding the potential for a heated litigation process. By avoiding the intensity of a courtroom, children are less impacted and couples are more likely to reach agreeable terms.
- Relocation and Judgment Modification – Mediation can help ex-spouses re-negotiate an agreement rather than going through the court, which can be an expensive, drawn-out process. Mediation allows individuals to work out a fair agreement regarding moving in or out-of-state and renegotiating monetary and parenting time issues.
- Adoption – The adoption process can be facilitated through mediation. During the adoption process, a mediation attorney can help adoptive parents and birth parents obtain agreeable arrangements that allow the two parties to avoid a court battle.
- Guardianship-When parents become unable to care for their children for a period of time, often times an agreement can be reached with a close family member to care for the children temporarily. Setting out the terms of such an agreement is important in order to preserve the familial relationship and allow the children to continue to have appropriate contact with their parents.
Mediation in Illinois can either be initiated voluntarily or ordered by a judge. All circuit courts contain mandatory mediation programs for cases involving the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly child custody) or parenting time (visitation). In both types of mediation, the resulting agreement is voluntary.
If you require the assistance of a skilled and understanding attorney, consult Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions, LLC today. From start to finish, we will make sure you are comfortable with the process. Call our St. Charles, Illinois, office today at 630-888-0017 or contact us online. We serve clients in Kane and DeKalb Counties, including but not limited to the communities of St. Charles, Elgin, Batavia, Aurora, DeKalb and Sycamore.
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Rachel Hernandez of Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions, LLC attended law school with a goal of working on behalf of children and families in crisis and is a qualified Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) in Kane County. A Guardian Ad Litem is an attorney, appointed by the court to assist the court with issues regarding disputes involving children. (read more)
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