Divorce Mediation in Peoria, Illinois Serving Peoria County
Many divorce cases end up with the couples taking matters to court to be resolved. Both parties hire a lawyer and with each day that passes, the back in forth in court continues. As more time passes and is spent on the case, stress and anxiety levels for the parties can rise. Animosity between the parties can also grow. Ultimately the parties end up putting their future, and that of their children, in the hands of a judge.
In many cases, there are alternatives for individuals to consider. For residents in Peoria, Illinois and the surrounding areas, one option that many often consider is mediation. Meditation involves the parties trying to reach an amicable settlement outside of the courtroom. Although mediation can be a great option for consideration, it is imperative to remember that a mediation cannot force the parties into settling. From our nearby office in Bloomington, Illinois in McLean County, we can represent clients in mediation in Peoria County in Peoria, Illinois.
What Is Divorce and Family Law Mediation?
In mediation, the parties work together with a neutral mediator. Unlike collaborative law, no attorney is usually present with them. The mediator tries to facilitate conversation between the parties so that they are able to reach a mutual agreement. In many cases as part of a thorough process, multiple sessions are needed to reach an agreement outside of court.
If an agreement can be reached, the mediator will then generally put the agreement in writing. The parties then look to hire separate counsel to file the paperwork in court and seek approval from the judge. Mediators cannot divorce parties. They also cannot present the settlement paperwork in court to get it approved by the judge. If a judge finds the settlement agreement unconscionable, they also have the discretion to accept or reject the agreement.
There is also voluntary and court-ordered mediation. It is important that parties know and understand the difference. In voluntary mediation, the parties decide nutually to go to mediation. They also both agree on the mediator they are using. In court-ordered mediation, the court selects the mediator for the parties.
The kinds of issues that can often be addressed in mediation are comprehensive and include:
- Marital property and debit division;
- Child custody, visitation, parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities;
- Child support and other expenses for the children;
- Spousal support (a/k/a maintenance or alimony);
- Tax-related issues; and
- Payment of attorneys’ fees.
In some cases, the parties successfully reach an agreement through mediation. In other cases, the parties might not be able to enter an agreement. There are also some cases in which certain issues are sorted out through mediation, but other issues are not and still need to be addressed in court.
If you are interested in mediation, contact us today. Stange Law Firm, PC has multiple mediators who can help you, including: Kirk Stange, Kelly Davidzuk, Tina Cox, Andrew Rankin, Antony Jones and others.
What is The Difference Between Court-Ordered and Voluntary Mediation?
Court-ordered mediation means that the divorce or family law case has already been filed in court. Thereafter, the court enters an order that requires the opposing parties to attend mediation. In this case, the court generally will determine the mediator.
The mediation order will set up on how the costs will be allocated and sets the minimum length of time that the opposing parties will attempt the mediation. Some courts (like Missouri) can only require mediation for two-hours, but other jurisdictions have their own rules.
Voluntary mediation tends to take place before the family law case and/or the divorce has been filed. The opposing parties are close to coming to an agreement, and then are able to select a mediator of their choice. The opposing parties also usually agree on how the payments will be paid and they can also take part in mediation for any duration of time.
The results and successes can vary with both approaches. With all things being equal, the opinion of many is that mediation can tend to yield more positive results when the mediation is voluntary and both parties have a willingness and a want to participate. Since the voluntary mediation generally takes place before litigation is filed in the court, this can lead to decreased tensions and can help further the spirit of reaching an agreed settlement.
Divorce Mediation Costs in Peoria, Illinois in Peoria County?
Because mediation does not involve standard courtroom litigation, it can tend to be less expensive of an option than traditional divorce proceedings for many parties facing divorce. This is not necessarily the case in every circumstance, however. A big factor is how many sessions are needed for an agreement to be reached. Some parties are able to settle quickly, while other parties might require many sessions. In other instances, the parties may try mediation and it does not lead to a settlement agreement.
It is important to also remember that any agreement that is entered into is legal binding as long as the court approves it. For this reason, it is important to have legal representation on your side to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the duration of the process. It is also important to greatly understand the benefits and downfalls to entering into any settlement agreement. The mediator does not represent either party involved and cannot provide any legal advice, nor can they present a settlement agreement in court.
Handling Divorce Mediation in Peoria, Illinois
To speak to a divorce mediation lawyer who can help you in our nearby Bloomington, Illinois office in McLean County, call us today at 309-807-4915 or contact our law firm online.
To learn more about the Peoria County Family Court, please visit the following links:
- Peoria County Family Court: Any additional information regarding the Peoria County family court can be found here.
- Peoria County Local Court Rules: Wondering what all of the Peoria County court rules may be? Click here to take a look.
- Peoria County Courthouse Directions: Do you need directions or a map of the Peoria County courthouse? Click on this link provided to help you out!
- Peoria County Family Court Forms: Click here for access to important forms for the Peoria County, Illinois Family Court.
Schedule An Initial Consultation to Learn More About Alternatives to Traditional Divorce in Peoria, Illinois in Peoria County
Are you looking to hire a compassionate family law attorney to help you with your divorce mediation? If so, schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorney today.
McLean County (Bloomington), IL Office: 309-807-4915 | 1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704.