The Benefits of Mediation

Like it or not,  the process of disentanglement from your spouse will trigger legal consequences and mandate court involvement. When you get divorced, especially when children are involved, the court has an automatic stake in the process. Mediation offers you an alternative path which minimizes court involvement and heightens your individual control over the outcome of your divorce or dissolution of domestic partnership. There are only two ways out:  either make an agreement with your spouse/partner or wait for the decision of a judge.

Parents should always consider mediation as an alternative to resolving their disputes in court.  Illinois courts believe that a child’s best interests are served by maximum involvement of both  parents. This means that contact between parents will likely continue for years after a divorce is final.  It can be very, very difficult for parents to find a way to communicate after a costly and ugly court trial. Mediation can help you and the other parent pave the way for better future communication for the benefit of your children.

Mediation can also be an incredible tool for parents with complicated work schedules or children with unique needs. Working residential schedules and visitation solutions may be more complicated than a judge generally may order. Although judges try to be creative, they simply don’t have the time on a busy calendar to fashion custom-made parenting platforms for every litigant. You know best what your kids need. Your Final Parenting and Custody Judgment may be the single most important document defining your child’s future. Consider whether you really want to leave precious decisions about your children’s future up to a stranger who hears a couple of days of testimony before deciding on your children’s future?

Other benefits of mediation include:

  • Mediation costs are shared.
  • Mediation is generally significantly less expensive than going to trial.
  • Mediation is even more cost-effective if you both choose to proceed without lawyers and are able to be amicable.
  • Mediation lets you retain greater control over the outcome of your separation or dissolution. You can make decisions for yourself instead of waiting for a judge to make a decision for you.
  • Mediation happens at your pace, instead of progressing in response to court deadlines. You can move forward with your own separate life sooner.
  • If you have children, you know the importance of “modeling” behavior for your children. Unlike trial, a successful mediation creates a good framework for your future parenting relationship and your children will know that their parents worked together for their benefit.
  • Mediation can afford you the luxury of more creative problem-solving and outcomes that are beyond the ‘cookie-cutter’ confines of the court.
  • Mediated agreements tend to be more “durable” because they are entered into by choice, not imposed upon each person. As a result, successful mediation tends to decrease returns to court in future years

Sheryl Rae Ghezzi  has an active litigation practice and is able to provide you with a realistic idea of what an outcome of a trial may be . There may be critical times during your mediation where you both lose your way on the path to resolution. At those times, the “reality check” of what might happen in court can be kind of like having a GPS that gets you back on track to the resolution freeway.

Our years of experience in creatively crafting parenting agreements that meet the unique needs of different types of families are valuable to our clients.  Once you enter the legal system you will discover that parenting plans are pretty involved and require lots of foresight. Your parenting plan will have to last you throughout your children’s lives, so working with a mediator who can provide guidance and wise counsel is a viable alternative to a costly court battle.