Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which can be especially beneficial in family law cases. According to a study published in Conflict Resolution Quarterly, an estimated 90 percent of divorces that entered mediation eventually ended in a settlement. If you are separating from your spouse, mediation may be the best available option. Mediation is only effective if you are properly prepared for it. Here, our Bolingbrook, IL divorce attorneys offer four tips to help you get ready for mediation.
1. Get into a Cooperative Mindset
As a form of alternative dispute resolution, the purpose of mediation is to provide both parties with a collaborative and low-conflict atmosphere, which helps facilitate a settlement agreement that works for both parties. Mediation is not a war and it is not meant to be nearly as adversarial as litigation. If your goal is to win on every issue at your partner’s expense, then mediation is not for you. Mediation works well when the parties can identify their mutual interests and resolve their differences in a manner that satisfies both of their needs.
2. Carefully Organize Documents, Records and Information
Proper organization is key to a successful divorce mediation. If you and your spouse are working through issues related to property/debt division, you need to know exactly what you both own. Similarly, if you are working to create a child custody and child visitation agreement, you need to know your children’s schedule and parameters under which you are working. The better organized you are, the easier it will be to identify and work through the most challenging issues.
3. Have Goals — Know What You Want to Achieve
Before entering the mediation process, it is crucial you know exactly what you want to get out of your divorce settlement. By nature, every settlement agreement involves some level of give and take. You should know the specific issues that matter most to you. You should have an idea of things you be willing to compromise on. With clear objectives in mind, you can go a long way towards getting a successful divorce settlement.
4. Work with an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney
Family law mediation is complicated. You do not need to go through the process alone. An experienced Aurora, IL divorce mediation lawyer will be able to protect your rights and help you navigate the process. If mediation works for you and your family, a lawyer can help you get prepared and negotiate a fair settlement. If mediation is not the right option, your divorce lawyer can help you prepare for the next stage of the process.
Schedule a Free Family and Divorce Consultation Today
At Keller Legal Services, our Illinois divorce attorneys are compassionate and effective advocates for clients. If you have questions about preparing for a divorce mediation, we are here to help. To arrange a free, confidential review of your case, please contact our legal team right away. With law offices in Naperville, Aurora and Bolingbrook, we represent clients throughout the entire Chicago area.