Tips: The Most Affordable Divorce Mediation

Do you wan the most affordable divorce mediation possible? There are so many options out there. Many divorce mediators will still be cheaper than litigating a divorce. So how do you find the most affordable divorce mediator out there? Check out these tips for finding a divorce mediator in any of the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will.

Tip 1: Keep in mind what mediation is for

A divorce mediator is a third-party neutral who tries to help divorcing spouses reach an agreement. The idea of neutrality is key. It means that the mediator does not take on or the other person’s side. Mediation process by where parties in mediation try to reach a non-binding agreement. That means that the agreement reached in mediation is not enforceable in court.

Mediation does not get people divorced. It is one step towards divorce. However, often divorce mediation does lead to an uncontested divorce in Illinois – and that can be very quick, and affordable.

Tip 2: Choose a mediator who is also a lawyer

There are many non-attorney divorce mediators out there. Let’s face it, divorce is as big business, and they want a piece of the action.

However, in my opinion, the result of mediating your divorce with a non-attorney mediator could be problematic.

For example, consider the following:

  1. Legal knowledge: Non-attorney mediators probably have a social work, therapy, or finance background. Most likely they will lack some knowledge of the law when compared to divorce mediators who are also attorneys
  2. Court knowledge: The law doesn’t tell the whole story – judge have a lot of discretion. Just because two people come to a judge with an agreement doesn’t mean the judge has to enter that agreement.
  3. Cost: In my opinion, divorce mediators who are also attorneys are able to more quickly get to the heart of a matter in dispute because they have seen it all before, and done it all before. Therefore, attorney-mediators are often able to more efficiently steer mediating spouses to a solution. Also, there are some non-attorney divorce mediators who actually cost more than attorneys.

Tip 3: Prepare in advance

The quicker your mediation, the more affordable it is likely to be me. So if you put more effort towards thinking about your settlement before mediation starts, you are likely to decrease the time it take to mediate.

Here are some things you’ll want to think about:

  1. Dividing property
  2. Dividing debt
  3. How to handle real estate [see this article]
  4. Decision-making with the kids
  5. Where the kids will have their primary residence
  6. What parenting time will be

Tip 4: Get to the point – and be flexible

You should not leg mediation devolve into a rehashing of your marital problems. If you do, you will likely cause yourself more expense and cause mediation to fail. And that could lead to litigation – which can get very expensive.

During mediation, keep your goals in mind. And be flexible. Come up with creative solutions that help you move on with life.

But there are some times when mediation is started but is not going to work. If two parties in mediation are diametrically opposed, then sometimes it makes more sense to call off mediation than to continue beating a dead horse.

About the author: David Wolkowitz is an Illinois Divorce mediator and a family law attorney. He mediates divorce, child custody, and child visitation disputes to help spouses and parents reach agreement without litigation.