You worked hard during your marriage to help provide for your family, whether you earned an income or were the primary homemaker. Now that your marriage is ending in divorce, you don’t want to lose all you worked for to attorneys fees and court costs. But that is exactly what you risk when you go through a traditional divorce.
A divorce is just like any legal conflict in that, if they want to, the parties can drag it out for a very long time. That means spending a lot of money on a retainer to hire an attorney to fight it out with your ex’s lawyer over the division of your marital property. By the time your divorce finally settles, there might not be much property left to split up. Occasionally, someone in Peoria has to go into debt just to pay their lawyer fees.
In some cases, the relationship between the spouses has gotten so bad that a long court battle is the only option. But if you and your spouse can still talk civilly and are willing to work together, divorce mediation can be a much cheaper way to dissolve your marriage.
How divorce mediation works
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. You and your spouse meet with a neutral third party trained in divorce mediation. The mediator is typically an attorney but is not representing you or your ex. Their job is to facilitate negotiations, give general information about Illinois divorce law and describe how an attorney or family court judge would view the situation. The mediator can also refer you to experts, like an appraiser to get a valuation of your house if you need one.
By empowering a divorcing couple to work out property division, child support and child custody themselves, mediation can save them a great deal of time and money.