Not all couples who get divorced want to go through litigation in order to resolve their issues. Some couples seek other dispute resolution processes, such as mediation and arbitration, especially when they have children in order to limit the animosity during the divorce. In addition, mediation and arbitration are favored because they are, in many ways, cheaper than litigation.
Mediation is a process by which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, facilitates the spouses’ negotiations over the division of property, spousal support, or child custody issues in the divorce process. The couple goes back and forth, working with the mediator, until the main issues are agreed upon and put together in an agreement for a judge’s approval.
When children are involved, it can work well for the parents, allowing them to concentrate on coming up with a parenting plan that works well for the parents and is ultimately in the best interest of the children. Parents cannot negotiate away child support payments. The requirement to support a person’s children is required by law, and there are statutory requirements as to the minimums to be paid.
In some cases, mediation is required even when a divorce is litigated in the court if the parents are in conflict over issues related to their children. If parents are ordered to attend mediation by a judge, the parents can choose their own mediator or they can use a court approved mediator.
Arbitration is similar to mediation in that the process is less formal than going to court. However, the process still resembles the litigation process. In arbitration, the couple can present evidence and call witness, and the neutral arbitrator makes the final decision on the disputed issues. A court would still have to sign off on the ultimate agreement reached through this process. Unlike mediation, there is less negotiation.
Both mediation and arbitration can cut down the time and cost of a traditional divorce. Therefore, if the couple can agree to resolve their divorce through these alternative dispute resolution methods, it can be better for them in the long run. These methods, especially mediation, can also leave both parties feeling as though the divorce was fair to them.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Deciding what you want to get out of your divorce process and how you may best protect your children can play a large role in deciding whether to pursue alternative dispute resolution instead of going through litigation. Before making the final decision, it is best to consult an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney who can help you work out the pros and cons of each approach so you can make an informed decision. For more information on how our firm can help you make the best decision for you, contact Momkus LLC for help.