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How to Prepare for Mediation in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Mediation and Collaborative Law

mediation in Illinois divorce, Naperville family law attorneyDivorce cases can be the most difficult cases to settle. Everything is personal. Both sides often feel hurt, and both sides usually believe they are acting fairly and in the best interest of the children and their own future. But, when the parties can reach a settlement instead of going to a trial, both sides are usually happier with the outcome. Mediation is sometimes the only way to bring two soon to be ex-spouses together to work out an agreement.

How Mediation Works

Mediation in most instances is voluntary. A mediator is a neutral third party who helps the two sides find common ground and craft an agreement. Mediators are not free. Usually, each side pays half of the mediator’s fee.

Every mediator works differently. Often the mediator has each side with their lawyers in separate rooms. Then the mediator goes between the rooms to settle the case. The most effective mediators are ones that have a deep understanding of family law and can help each side understand the possible consequences of not reaching a deal.

Before Mediation

Preparation for mediation is the most important part of having a successful experience. Prior to mediation, each lawyer submits a report or statement about how they see the case.

You need to know what things you are willing and able to compromise on. Your lawyer is there to advise you, but, ultimately, you have to decide to settle or not. You and your lawyer should discuss a strategy for the mediation. Are you going to start by asking for more than you want or expect to get? Is anything off the table?

Make sure you tell your lawyer everything you know about what your spouse really cares about. The more information your lawyer has, the better he or she can negotiate during the mediation.

During the Mediation

You are not required to come to an agreement. Mediators can put pressure on the parties to settle. Often, a settlement is in the best interest of both sides, but not always. Listen to your lawyer’s advice and consider what you are willing to risk in going to trial.

Sometimes mediation can feel a little like buying a used car. The mediator comes in with a set of terms, and you talk about them and give a counter-offer. The mediator then goes off and comes back with the news about what the other side said and a new proposal.

If you are patient and prepared for a long process of back and forth negotiating, you will likely do better in mediation.

If you have questions about divorce or any other family law issue, you need to talk to a tough and experienced Naperville, Illinois family law lawyer. Call Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240 today to schedule a consultation.


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