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How Can Mediation Help Solve Child Custody Disputes?

Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights divorce mediators

When getting a divorce, there are many decisions to be made. Because of the sensitivity of topics in family law such as child custody and the division of marital assets, a mediator can be a helpful resource when planning your future. Discussing the terms of your divorce with a mediator can decrease the time, energy, and money you spend in court. 

What is Divorce Mediation? 

Mediation is when a neutral third party helps two conflicting groups come to an agreement in a structured meeting or meetings. A mediator does not make decisions for either party but is there to ask questions and lead the discussion toward a resolution. The mediation process starts with both sides making an introductory statement, followed by listing concerns related to the disagreements. The mediator will listen and find common goals of the parties. If the initial session does not result in an agreement, the parties can meet with the mediator to try again. 

The term “custody” is not included in current Illinois family law, so a parenting plan is required to decide how a child is cared for. Instead of custody, Illinois law refers to the allocation of parental responsibility. Having parental responsibility dictates the decisions that affect a child’s life, such as religion, education, and healthcare. One parent can have primary parental responsibility or the ability to make decisions can be split between the parents. Instead of visitation, the term parenting time is now used.

If decisions about how a child will be raised cannot be made by the parties, the court will make decisions based on the best interests of the child. Each parent will have to make a case in the court as to why their plan to raise the child is better. However, if the couple can meet with a mediator before their court date, a mutually agreed parenting plan can be discussed. 

Mediation for child custody issues is recommended for divorcing spouses who are able to productively speak about their differences. This does not mean you have to be on great terms with your ex. You simply need to display a willingness to work to reach agreeable solutions. Coming to an agreement with a mediator gives you more control than defending your case in front of a judge and having them decide. Additionally, speaking with a neutral third party may help build a positive post-divorce relationship with your child’s other parent. 

Contact a Schaumburg Family Law Attorney

Mediation is a great option for many couples going through a divorce with children. To decide the best option for your situation, contact a Palatine family law attorney from Anderson & Associates, P.C. today. Call our office at 847-995-9999 to set up a free consultation today.

Source:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/CountyDepartment/DomesticRelationsDivision/Mediation.aspx

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