According to the Huffington Post, “despite divorce mediation’s well-deserved reputation as a sensible alternative to fighting it out in court,” it seems the general public isn’t so versed as to just what mediation is. Mediation according to the Center for Conflict Resolution at Brigham Young University, is a “negotiation process in which the disputing parties are assisted by a neutral third-party, a mediator.” In divorce, if both parties have decided upon the divorce amicably and have already settled many of the disputes that arise during divorce, the couple does not need a mediator, only a lawyer to help them through the actual divorce process, reports the Huffington Post.
A mediator should be hired if the couple needs a person to help them resolve conflicts involving the dissolution of property, child support, custody, or if grounds for divorce haven’t been determined. Yet if a couple has decided all this, there’s no need for this step when going through a divorce—“they already have the best that mediation could ever give them,” according to the Huffington Post, and “their best bet is to take their settlement straight to court for a judge’s approval.” Mediators cannot “make decisions regarding who is going to win or lose,” according to the Huffington Post. The publication likens a mediator’s job to that of an air traffic controller. In this metaphor, then, the attorney can be likened to a pilot—the necessary person to get you on the ground after a split. While a mediator isn’t necessarily an attorney, our attorneys have experience in mediation as well as the divorce process in court.
According to the American Bar Association, “some divorces are, to say the least, simply not suitable for mediation.” For a divorce case to be a successful candidate for mediation, both parties need to have a respectful relationship, and “both parties should be capable of expressing their ideas, wants, and needs in a mature manner.”
If you or someone you know is considering divorce and want to know if mediation is good for you, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area divorce attorney today.