There are ways for couples to end their marriages relatively amicably. Couples in Illinois who divorce don’t always have to do so in an atmosphere of abject negativity, anger and animosity. There are family law tools available to help each person through this life-changing process and one of those is mediation. With an experienced mediator — often an attorney — a couple has more control over their own divorce.

First off, a mediator takes a neutral position to help the couple to reach a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. He or she drafts the settlement which a judge signs and if mediation is successful, the couple doesn’t need to go to court. Since the courts aren’t involved, mediation can also be much more financially friendly. For mediation to be successful, each party should be completely honest which means no hiding assets and the desire to treat each other fairly.

During the mediation process, each person has the right to confer with his or her own attorney. If an agreement is reached through mediation, a divorce is usually granted six months after documents are signed and submitted to court. When mediation works, it makes the entire divorce process much less complicated.

An Illinois divorce attorney may be able to advise a client on whether mediation might be a good alternative to litigation. Mediation may also likely be more positive when any children are involved. Divorce is not one-size-fits-all and a lawyer may be able to explain to a client if mediation may or may not be a viable alternative to court, depending upon a client’s personal circumstances.