Using Divorce Mediation to Dissolve a Marriage Amicably in Illinois
While divorce is often portrayed as inherently acrimonious in television, film, and literature, the truth is that it need not be so. Not every divorce is the result of infidelity or abuse. Sometimes, spouses realize that they are unhappy and not getting along despite repeated efforts over a long period of time, or it becomes apparent that they rushed into the marriage without a shared vision of the future. In such completely common and understandable circumstances, it is possible to end the marriage amicably and cooperatively through the process of mediation. Unlike litigation, which is inherently adversarial, mediation is a more harmonious means of resolving the family and financial issues that must be addressed during the dissolution of a marriage.
Mediation Is a Form of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation occurs out of court. This change of venue is symbolic of the non-adversarial nature of the process, in which parties sit across the table rather than on opposing sides of the courtroom. The issues addressed are the same as those in a contentious or contested divorce, and they include:
- The fair and equitable division of marital assets and liabilities.
- Whether and in what amount spousal maintenance (alimony) will be paid by one spouse to the other.
- Whether and in what amount each parent will pay child support.
- How parental responsibility (child custody) and parenting time (visitation) will be allocated between each parent.
So, then, the difference between adversarial divorce and mediated, non-adversarial divorce is one of disposition, or attitude. Moreover, obviously, the family law-related issues of child support and the allocation of parental responsibility are only applicable to spouses who have children. For divorcing spouses who are not parents, the process of a mediated divorce is often even more straightforward.
The Equitable Division of Marital Assets and Liabilities in an Illinois Divorce
Illinois is an equitable distribution state with regard to the division of a marriage’s assets and liabilities between divorcing spouses. A “fair and equitable” division – to use the language of Illinois state law – does not necessarily mean an equal division. As such, the principle of good faith negotiation that is at the heart of the mediation process matters greatly. The more complex and varied a marriage’s assets and liabilities, the more discussion and negotiation will transpire.
If you want to know more about how the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can help you utilize the process of mediation to facilitate a fair and amicable divorce, contact a Warrenville divorce mediation attorney at 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.
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