The Law Offices of Van A. Schwab
Skokie and Libertyville

Divorcing couples could benefit from mediation

Those Illinois residents who may wish to consider the legal ramifications of marriage and divorce may be interested to learn of a recent article offering insight into the benefits of mediation. While traditional divorces tend to be emotionally confrontational and divisive affairs, the divorce mediation process seeks to allow former spouses to resolve their disputes in the most cordial manner possible.

The article notes that mediation can lower the costs of divorce by limiting the number of lawyers directly involved. Moreover, the mediation process isn't usually as protracted as a divorce; whereas many divorces can drag on well beyond either party's financial means, couples in mediated disputes generally agree to a predetermined schedule and number of meetings in advance. Despite these advantages, the article says that only a small portion of divorces involve mediation because most couples are unable to set aside their differences in order to achieve even a semblance of collaboration.

Divorces tend to cause large amounts of emotional stress and financial challenges. Unlike most other forms of lawsuits, the issues contested during divorce are sometimes central to a person's sense of identity and well-being. If issues such as child support, property division, spousal support and others are resolved in a manner that leaves one party marginalized, they could spend years suffering from the ramifications. As a result, it behooves both parties to achieve a legal outcome suitable to their interests, but this may not always be possible in a traditional divorce proceeding.

By providing both spouses with an objective perspective, an attorney experienced in divorce mediation may be able to allow both former spouses to air their grievances and desires without fear of being coerced into an unsatisfactory settlement. In this way, it may be possible for both parties to separate in a manner that leaves their lives and relationships with their children undamaged.

Source: US News & World Report, "Why a Collaborative Divorce Makes Financial Sense", Geoff Williams, August 19, 2013

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