November 11, 2016

Mediation Versus Litigation When Divorcing


Divorces are messy. In the event that things end amicably for a couple, there is an out of court solution to agreeing on property division and the like. This process is called mediation. Mediation is a process where a neutral party helps a divorcing couple come to an agreement about how they will separate assets, and even more in depth, agree to how children will be cared for and support payments. Mediation produces agreements in 50 to 80 percent of cases and tends to be a less contentious process than going to court.

It is not for everyone in every situation, and in complex cases, an experienced family law attorney is advisable. If you attempted mediation and it either did not work or the terms have been proven to be burdensome, improper, or legally inadequate, seek the advice and services of a family law attorney. This can be an intricate process and an experienced attorney will know how to best serve your needs in the eyes of the law.

The Pros and Cons of Mediation

First, a strategy should be made to formulate an agreement based on to what assets you have and what debts you have. Formulate a parenting plan, budget, amounts of financial support and then find a mediator who will work cooperatively not coercively.

Then you should consider what the favorable and negative aspects of mediation could result.

What are the advantages of mediation?

  • Timely and less protracted than court proceedings;
  • Cost effective as compared to litigation;
  • Non-confrontational;
  • More likely to be abided by as parties seek to mutually agree and have a degree of flexibility; and
  • Confidential.

Some of the disadvantages may include:

  • Lack of detailed legal nuances being addressed;
  • The implications down the line, on your personal and financial well-being. If personal circumstances change, modifications may be in order;
  • Coercive mediator not serving your needs fairly or impartially; and
  • Unable to agree and proceed with litigation.

If you are aware of the mediation process and feel it is a route you may be interested in taking, you should nevertheless arrange a consultation with an attorney first. This is to ensure that what is in your best interests is upheld. The future potential implications on your life, personally, professionally, emotionally, and financially could be significantly affected. Attorneys have met with clients who have already drafted a divorce agreement that was completed through mediation for a review and problems are revealed. This could result in an added source of conflict and create a major strain on what should have been a harmonious process and agreement.

Choosing an Attorney

Experience counts, no matter which way you look at it.  Each proceeding and client’s situation is unique. Carefully crafting an agreement and proceeding with litigation are intense processes which require the skills of an experienced DuPage County family law attorney familiar with aspects of family law regulations which may apply to your circumstances. With offices throughout DuPage County, Mulyk Laho Law, LLC, has the right team to represent you.