4 Myths About Divorce Mediation
Statistics can be a little fuzzy when it comes to the divorce rate. Depending on the source, the divorce rate is reported to be anywhere from 33 to 50 percent. But the one thing that professionals are noticing to have been changing about divorce in the United States is the increasing rate of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). More couples are choosing to settle their divorce through ADR methods like collaborative law and mediation, rather than the traditional litigation method. Some couples may be wary of divorce mediation, but by debunking the myths you may have heard about mediation, you can make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.
1. Mediation Will Not Work if There Is a Lot of Conflict Between Spouses
One of the most common thoughts that people have about divorce mediation is that it only works if both spouses are friendly toward each other. This is not necessarily true. While it may be easier for couples who are amicable toward each other to come to an agreement, it is not impossible for high-conflict couples to reach a settlement. Divorce mediators are trained to handle high-conflict situations, and if necessary, another professional, such as a family therapist or psychologist, can be hired to attend mediation sessions to teach couples how to communicate better.
2. Mediation Means You Will Settle for Less
If you litigate your divorce in court, the judge is required to abide by Illinois law when it comes to deciding things like property division, spousal maintenance, child support, and parental responsibilities. When you participate in divorce mediation, you and your spouse are able to consider other factors that a judge may not. The mediator serves as an uninterested third party who is there to direct your attention to the issues that need to be resolved.
3. The Mediator Decides What Is Fair
One of the most important things about mediation is that you and your spouse get to remain in control of your divorce. A mediator does not have the same power as a judge–they cannot order you to do anything. A mediator’s job is to bring certain issues to your attention and give advice on these issues in order to reach an agreement that is as fair as possible. The mediator is there to make sure both spouses are content with the divorce settlement rather than to make a decision for you.
4. It Is Better to Fight for Child Custody in Court
While court litigation may seem like the best way to achieve a fair resolution to child custody disputes, the opposite is often true, and mediation can be a better route to take if you have children. When you go to court to litigate parental responsibilities, you give the judge all of the power to decide what is best for your family. In divorce mediation, you can come up with a custody agreement that you and your ex-spouse are in agreement with and have both helped create. Visitation schedules and custody agreements are more likely to be followed if both spouses had a part in creating them.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Mediator
Fully understanding divorce mediation and the advantages that it has over a traditional litigated divorce can help you make an informed decision about whether or not mediation is right for your situation. A trained and certified Wheaton divorce mediation attorney can help you figure out the best agreement for your family. Contact the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation and begin your divorce mediation process.
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