We've seen tremendous growth nationwide year over year in the use of divorce mediation - Illinois area couples are no exception.
In fact, one of the most popular local searches that lead people to our website is "Can I get a divorce in Illinois without a lawyer?"
That confirms what we already know - more and more smart Illinois couples are seeking a more peaceful and cost-effective alternative to the emotionally devastating and financially ruinous attorney-driven divorce litigation.
And that process is Illinois divorce mediation.
Joe and Cheryl are easy to work with and really want to see both parties through the process. They are very professional and deliver on their services.
I never felt judged or slighted and am glad we chose to work with a mediator like Joe instead of divorce lawyers. Equitable Mediation was definitely a more civilized way to go.former client, Chicago, IL
Joe, It has been very pleasant working with you and we feel very lucky to have come across someone as professional, knowledgeable and compassionate as you have been during this process. Thank you!former client, Northbrook, IL
It was so refreshing working with you after all we've heard about lawyers.
You made it a lot easier than we ever thought possible. Thank you Joe & Cheryl!former client, Chicago, IL
Whether you work inside the home or outside of it, have minor children, grown children or are child-free, have been married a short time or have been together for many years, mediation is the smartest way to divorce in Illinois.
Or, if you're early in the process, learn how you (and your family) benefit using mediation for divorce in Illinois.
Unlike an attorney, mediators act as a neutral third party, and will not give you legal advice or tell you what to do. Parties who choose to work with a mediator wish to make their own decisions on issues such as custody or property division, instead of being told what to do by an attorney.
Think of mediators like conductors in an orchestra. Conductors lead the symphony, and mediators lead the mediation process. But conductors don’t make the music, just like mediators don’t make the decisions for the parties. Yet without a conductor, or a mediator, the divorce proceedings would get off track, and the participants wouldn’t know what to do.
Learn more about divorce mediation.
Divorce mediation is a subset and is focused on conflict resolution - helping married couples peacefully and cost-effectively end their marriage.
Whereas divorce and family mediation is broader in scope, with mediators helping parties resolve matters related to family, but not directly related to divorce. For example, creating a visitation / custody arrangement for a child of an unmarried couple, or assisting with the property division of a family-owned business.
The term “alternative dispute resolution” or ADR for short, refers to any dispute resolution process that eliminates the parties need to resolve their issues and matters in court. Mediation is simply one type of ADR processes. Other common types may include, but are not limited to, collaborative divorce, arbitration, peace circles, and restorative justice.
The idea behind ADR is to keep the parties out of expensive and damaging litigation, and instead, with the help of a neutral third party such as a mediator, reach agreement without having to go to court.
While most people think of divorce and dissolution of marriage as the same thing, in some states they are not. Some practitioners think of a divorce as being contested, and dissolution of marriage as being uncontested. That is, in a dissolution of marriage, the issues were all resolved using a divorce mediator, during the mediation process, and many of the steps in a traditional divorce process were skipped (such as hiring an attorney or going to court).
In Illinois, it is common for people to use the terms divorce and dissolution of marriage interchangeably, but as non-attorney mediators, we can’t fully comment on the accuracy of this statement, nor its legal impact on a divorce case.
In Illinois, an uncontested divorce, also commonly known as a no-fault divorce, is one in which the parties are able to resolve, and come to agreement on, all of their issues, without the need to hire an attorney / attorneys and needing to have the matters resolved in court.
When parties work with a mediator, all divorces by definition are uncontested divorces. Because a highly skilled Illinois divorce mediator will be able to help a divorcing couple resolve, and come to agreement on, all issues within the mediation process. In turn, eliminating the need to hire an attorney and go to court to resolve them.
One thing that’s important to note, and admittedly it’s a bit of a technicality, is that an “uncontested divorce” isn’t really a "no-fault divorce.” Every divorce has a fault; it’s just that in the case of a divorce process that uses a mediator to come to agreement, the “fault" is an uncontested divorce.
I know. A bit confusing…