Preparing for Divorce Mediation in Illinois

Reaching a final divorce settlement can be a time-consuming, emotional and stressful process. That’s why people often enlist the services of a mediator, an impartial person who helps the parties come to an agreement by considering everything at issue in the divorce.

In Illinois, when a divorce involves disagreement on child-related issues, the state requires the parties to work with a mediator. The court may also order mediation when there are disputes about financial matters. Sometimes, even when there is no court requirement, the parties may elect to work with a mediator for the unbiased perspective such a professional can provide.

Choosing a mediator is the first step. It’s important that both you and your spouse feel comfortable working with the person, so you may want to meet with several mediators before agreeing on one. Both of you should feel like the mediator is knowledgeable, fair and impartial.

When preparing for mediation, spend the time to gather all relevant information. Bring copies for everyone of important paperwork related to your marriage and the issues under discussion to the session. This might include tax returns, bank account statements, and mortgage and home-related documentation.

Many people also bring a list of items to be considered in the division of property, such as real estate, valuables and household items. If you’ve drawn up any tentative agreements with your spouse, bring those to the mediation session as well.

Remember that no mediation experience can go smoothly if you don’t enter into it with an open mind, a positive attitude and a desire to reach an agreement.

If you have questions about divorce mediation, an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer can provide the guidance and information you need to be successful in this process.

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