How Long Does Chicago Divorce Mediation Take?
Uncontested Divorce Mediation
Posted October 10, 2018
When you are seeking an uncontested divorce in Chicago, there are many benefits to seeking divorce mediation services to ensure that the split goes according to plan. This is no different for couples in the Chicago area that are looking to get a divorce. The splitting process can be a long one, even with the benefits of having a divorce mediator involved to help ensure things go smoothly. However, this extra time that it takes can pay off by ensuring that the split is fair to both parties and any children or other family members involved in or impacted by their split as well.
When Is Divorce Mediation Mandatory In The State Of Illinois?
When one resides in the state of Illinois, mediation is mandatory in a divorce case under certain circumstances when there are contested issues to be solved. This intervention is always mandatory unless some impediment exists that stops these interventions from being carried out. Some of those circumstances include the following situations:
- initial determinations and allocations of parental responsibilities
- modifications to the already-allocated parental responsibilities
- relocation of the child
- non-parental visitation and 3rd party allocations of parental responsibilities for the child
This essentially means that when any parental responsibilities are contested before a court within the city of Chicago, it will be a requirement for a mediation to occur to solve the contested issues at hand.
Mediation requirements will be waived if there are was past or present family issues with things like violence, abuse/harassment, mental/cognitive impairments, or substance abuse/dependency at any point during the relationship.
If We Don't Meet These Requirements For Mediation, Can We Still Receive These Services?
Divorce mediation in Chicago may be initiated voluntarily by either party at any stage of their case, even before the couple has actually filed the necessary paperwork to set a divorce into motion. Many couples will receive mediation services after they were ordered to do so by the court, however, agreements that come from a result of the provided interventions are completely voluntary.
As mentioned above, the only time that these services are mandatory is when there are questions involving either child custody or visitation issues among the parties involved in the divorce. Excusal from these sessions, however, may be provided if it is determined that an impediment exists that will not allow the services to move forward.
How Long Does It Take To Receive These Mediation Services?
The Illinois Supreme Court Rule 923 states that the original hearing for a case must occur within 90 days (3 months) of the petition or complaint being filed. If the parties involved in the case cannot agree on an acceptable settlement, then the court will file the case for a mediation service. Once the case is scheduled for these intervention services there will be a full case-management meeting that must be held within 30 days of the intervention being completed.
Many of the local courts located throughout Chicago will have their own rules regarding how many intervention sessions are required before a case is considered to be complete. Every court will also have their own provisions in place for the mediation process to ensure that client information is kept in complete confidentiality.
What Is The Role Of A Mediator In A Chicago Divorce Case?
The roles of mediators are determined according to the Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation explains that the intervention services are designed to help a family and the involved parties to come to a better understanding of their personal and family needs, while also including the best interests of the family's children. They are also to help facilitate agreement among all parties involved in the case as they come to a satisfactory conclusion on the disagreements at hand.
All discussions with these mediators are to be private and confidential in order to protect the information and the best interest of the clients and parties being served.
What Information Is Kept Confidential During A Chicago Divorce Mediation?
All information that is discussed during these intervention sessions is to be kept private and confidential. Such information that is kept confidential will include the following:
- threats of bodily injury
- use of mediation to commit crimes
- communications which are used to offer evidence to prove or disprove that there has been abuse, neglect, or abandonment proceeding in which either an adult or child protective services is a party unless the case was referred to mediation and this public agency that was involved participates in the intervention process
The only things that the mediators may communicate to the court are whether their intervention services were used successfully or if there was an agreement reached between/among all parties involved in the case as well as who came to the intervention hearings.
Otherwise, all other information must be kept 100% confidential according to the laws in place in the state of Illinois.
How Does One Go About Choosing a Mediator For A Divorce Case?
The parties involved in the uncontested divorce in Chicago will generally have their right to choose the mediator that they want to work on their case. Prior to retaining a mediator that meets your personal needs, you will want to consider some of the following about the mediator you are considering utilizing for your case to ensure that there is a good fit:
- ask about the past experience and training the person has on their resume
- ask about their approaches to intervention and what processes they use
- find out if the intervention will include talking to the children in the family as part of the intervention services (consider if this is something that makes you comfortable as a parent)
- ensure that no conflicts of interest occur between any party and the person you are choosing to mediate your case
Reach an Uncontested Divorce in Chicago Today
Note that your mediator will speak to everyone individually and privately before the case begins to ensure that they are a good fit to handle the case. They will also want to ensure they understand the reasons the divorce is being filed and that they understand the interest of all parties involved.
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