Divorce is likely to be one of the most significant, difficult and painful events you will ever experience in your life.
It can be a lonely, all-consuming journey through the divorce process and with no guidebook to help navigate unfamiliar issues, the stress and fear is only compounded by the need to make important, life-changing decisions with far reaching implications.
That's where we come in. To help you every step of the way!
And when used together, give you the best opportunity to avoid a drawn-out, costly and contentious divorce while at the same time, enabling you to remain fully in control of the terms of your agreement.
I could write a book on why Equitable Mediation is in a class of their own, and I very well may!
From initial gut-check talks, to the nitty gritty, both Cheryl and Joe exercise the human quality of this process. They both, individually add incredible knowledge, support and a team effort feel to each step in the process.
Honestly, there is nothing "enjoyable" about divorce, yet somehow, they leave you feeling comforted, treated fairly and respected. I couldn't recommend them more enthusiastically!
Joe brings a sense of assured guidance to the details of which we knew very little. He listens actively and offers solutions from an objective standpoint. He is warm, funny and fast.
You are not just a "case file" to Cheryl and Joe.
What I liked most about working with Equitable Mediation was the mutual respect, candor and fastidious attention to both the human quality and necessary outcome of peace, fairness and documentation. Also, the availability of coaching was not only convenient, but felt hands-on at all times.
- L.L, Glen Ellyn, IL
Our expert divorce mediator has been professionally trained, is familiar with the issues in all states we practice in and is well-versed in the financial decisions that need to be made.
For more than 20 years, Founder and Divorce Mediator Joe Dillon has been helping individuals, couples and corporations mediate a myriad of complex issues and intractable problems by utilizing his experience with negotiation, finance and interpersonal relationships.
Joe, I think you are masterful at herding in the complexities of our situation, respectfully calming "E's" and my realistic fears and defensiveness, presenting creative and practical ideas, all while politely motivating us.
And peppered with your wonderful sense of humor, of course! You rock, Joe! Thank you for guiding us.
- E.M., West Allenhurst, NJ
Going through a divorce is very stressful and a complete emotional upheaval to everyday life.
For this reason, Divorce Coach Cheryl Dillon will be available to you and your spouse individually or together throughout the mediation process for emotional support.
Divorce coaching can even help overcome conflict and improve communications with your spouse during the mediation process.
Cheryl, You helped me gain the strength I needed to get through the most difficult time in my life.
Having you available to me throughout our mediation really helped keep the emotions in check and things on track.
- B.T., Chicago, IL
You’ll start things off right with a Mediation Overview where we’ll teach you how to successfully complete the discovery phase of mediation.
We’ll also provide you with a Mediation Roadmap to outline important milestones and due dates to keep things on track.
You’ll have access to your mediator during the negotiation phase of mediation.
And we’ll also give you access to our client portal, mediation toolkit and secure file sharing system and provide unlimited personalized support should you need it.
One of the reasons we contacted Equitable Mediation in the first place was because we felt they really “got it.”
Offering assistance with all areas of divorce made us feel like they were going to help take care of everything – and they did!
- D.N., Chatham, NJ
Some mediators will only prepare a basic write-up or a simple bulleted list of terms. Giving you and your spouse no choice but to retain attorneys (and spend $2,500 to $3,500) to convert your negotiations into a fully-formed agreement.
But not us! We’ll provide you and your spouse with a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding which outlines explicitly the agreements you made in mediation, the steps you need to take in order to execute your agreement, and what to do when your children get older or your circumstances change.
Your agreement will be detailed, easy to understand and execute and as future-proofed as possible. No attorneys necessary.
From guiding us through the issues to ensuring our agreement was thorough to the kindness they showed us during our time working together, Joe and Cheryl didn't let us down.
We are grateful for everything they did to make a highly emotional and very personal event easier on us and our family.
- C.R., Naperville, IL
We treat you like human beings, not docket numbers.
And our mediation service is peaceful, dignified, cost-effective and results in a divorce agreement that is fair and in the best interests of your children.
We believe that the right information combined with the right expertise and the right kind of support can make the difficult process of divorce easier on you and your family.
That's why you'll always work directly with the two of us (Joe and Cheryl), regardless of the state you live in or whether you've chosen to mediate virtually or in-person.
Hi Cheryl, Thank you for the continued kindness you and Joe have shown during this entire process, it has no doubt made this journey easier to endure.
I do feel that all our paths are crossed in life for a reason and I am indeed glad that ours did.
- N.R., Wheaton, IL
Mediation is an unregulated profession and your divorce is too important to trust to the wrong mediator.
So it’s critical to select the mediator that’s right for you, not just the one who has the closest office.
Flexible meeting options allow you to meet how and where you want and make the process itself as convenient as possible.
I'm glad we had the choice of mediating face-to-face or virtually. We chose to mediate virtually and it was a huge help. My schedule is pretty flexible but my ex-wife's schedule was not.
Being able to do everything via phone and internet made my divorce much easier because we were able to find times to mediate without the hassle of driving to a location to meet. It was also nice because I didn't need to be in the same room as my wife so it took a lot of emotion and fighting out of the sessions.
- L.D., Antioch, IL
You may be thinking that so far everything sounds great but you’re concerned about what happens when you’re done working with us and now it’s time to file.
Wondering if we’re just going to leave you on your own?
Of course not!
We'll share a number of filing options so you can choose the one best-suited to your unique needs.
Happy New Year and thanks again for the smoothest divorce known!
Even got complimented by the clerk at the courthouse :)
- A.R., Glenview, IL
At Equitable Mediation, we offer flat-fee mediation to all of our divorce mediation clients. This removes the anxiety that is often associated with the spiraling costs of divorce.
And you'll have all the resources you need to ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible:
Your ability to reach a fair settlement in a reasonable period of time relies greatly on how accurately you've prepared for your mediation sessions.
|Full access to our online Mediation Toolkit and Secure Online Client Portal|
|Written instructions for completing the forms, worksheets and paperwork required prior to the start of mediation|
|Mediation Overview to provide instruction on how to complete the Financial Discovery phase of mediation|
|Ongoing personalized support for completing the forms and worksheets|
|Financial discovery review|
|Pension valuation(s), as needed|
Joe will help you negotiate the myriad of complex legal issues required to define the terms of your agreement and educate you on the financial matters surrounding your settlement.
|Negotiation of relevant issues as appropriate: parenting plan/timesharing, child support, alimony, the division of marital assets & liabilities|
|Calculation of child support and scenario planning as needed|
|Alimony change of circumstance scenario planning as appropriate|
|Tax implication analysis of child support and/or alimony and/or assets and liabilities as appropriate|
|Comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and all related case files|
Conflict Coaching and Emotional Support:
Cheryl will support you in working through the important, but often overlooked divorce-related emotions that, if ignored, can cloud your judgment or cause you to make snap decisions you may later regret.
|Unlimited coaching throughout the mediation process|
|Unlimited telephone & email access to the divorce coach throughout the mediation process|
Joe, You and Cheryl definitely have a way of taking the edge off a difficult process. From start to finish, I always felt like I was in good hands.
Knowing up front how much our mediation was going to cost helped "K" and I focus on what really mattered. Instead of worrying about if every time we picked up the phone we were going to get a bill!
It's obvious that the two of you care a lot about the people you work with and what you do so thank you!
- D.S., West Windsor, NJ
When is the right time to book an initial meeting?
While we think everyone should choose to mediate their divorce if they are able, there are three things you should know before you book an initial meeting for you and your spouse:
Do my spouse and I need to have everything figured out before we work with you and start mediation?
This is a very common question and the answer is…of course not! It’s not uncommon for some couples to discuss and come to basic agreement on certain limited issues prior to working with us, so if you’re one of those couples, great. We’ll take what you’ve discussed/agreed to and build on it - filling in the gaps where need be and making sure what you’ve discussed isn’t harmful to either of you and will pass muster with the courts.
But if you haven’t had a single conversation about anything, that’s fine too, and in some cases, preferred. We'll guide you through all of the issues, help you negotiate areas of disagreement and make sure your agreement is thorough.
Either way, we’re here to help.
What does your all-inclusive, flat-fee mediation cost?
When you choose to work with us and follow our proven process, the total cost for your divorce mediation will generally range from $5,000 to $8,000.
On average, an attorney retainer costs $5,000 to $10,000 per person. And everyone knows the retainers are just the beginning. Costs for a standard Lawyer-Driven Divorce can range from $20,000 to $32,000. Costs for a divorce that goes to trial vary, but can range from $78,000 to $200,000 per couple.
But you can save thousands on your divorce when mediating with us!
During your initial meeting, we'll not only share how our mediation process works, but you'll also know up-front exactly what your mediation will cost. Learn more about the initial meeting.
I have more questions…
It makes sense to have a lot of questions because there's a lot involved when it comes to the divorce process. A good place to start is on our learn about divorce mediation page. If after reading it, you have additional questions, we’ll do our best to address them all during your initial meeting.