Divorce is never easy. Families are affected in so many different ways, and to say that life is not going to be the same for any family member is not an overstatement. Even uncontested and "friendly" divorces can wreak havoc to what once was a sound family unit. If children are involved, custody matters are an issue. Then there are the questions of who will get the family pet; where is each parent going to live; which partner retains the family valuables; who pays tuition, and so many other questions.
Contested or not, your divorce has legal ramifications. That's where Split Simple, the Chicago divorce mediator team comes into play. Our advocates can help couples who are looking for a way to file for divorce in a simple and less hurtful manner through divorce mediation. That means that Split Simple will act as a neutral third party and listen to each person's wants, needs, fears, and preferences, and then review this information to reach an agreement that is best for each party and his or her children.
Unraveling the Cost of Divorces
The cost of dissolving a marriage varies from state to state and differs according to who you choose to represent you and at what level your emotions are topping out due to disputes between you and your spouse. Let's take a look at the types of fees you may pay:
The cost of a divorce can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. A contested divorce may range from $15,000 to $30,000. Other monetary matters to be considered include:
- Court fees, which for a two-day trial can cost as much as $25,000
- Joint debt, including credit card balances
- Joint bank accounts
- Division of property
- Payments to a CPA for assistance
- Stock division
- Property division
- Child support
- Tax exemptions
- Head of household issues
- Attorney fees
- Retirement plans and distributions, and more
If a divorce is uncontested, it means this dissolution is:
A divorce in which the parties do not dispute or argue over such issues as property division, child custody, and support. A divorce that does not require the court to make decisions over disputed or contested issues. This process is streamlined and requires that the two parties file a divorce petition, other related documents, and a settlement agreement with the court. And, in some states, proceedings related to child custody and support must take place in court if the parties have minor children.
An uncontested divorce is often rapidly completed since there is no need of hearings or trials. But the downside of this kind of procedure is that one of the parties may agree to a settlement only because of the desire to avoid any conflict. That spouse may get less than what he or she deserves when the distribution of assets occurs.
If the parties cannot agree about the terms of their divorce, the court must get involved. Hearings are then scheduled and, in time, a trial becomes necessary. One spouse sends the other a divorce Petition to which the other spouse then files an Answer to Divorce. At this point, many couples reach an agreement, and others reach a stalemate. Anger and hurt can commence on both sides, and the ability to work through the process amicably disappears.
There is a third option when it comes to divorce, and it is called divorce mediation. The primary goal of mediators is to save their clients time and money and to create a just, equitable agreement that serves both spouses and their kids and gives them the opportunity to move on with their lives. Experienced, compassionate, knowledgeable mediators can assist you in the following ways:
- Making the divorce procedure less traumatic and stressful
- Helping you find an amicable resolution
- Reducing the amount of money you spend by potentially keeping you out of court
- Addressing the needs and desires of each party
- Providing free phone consultation to help determine which fixed pricing plan fits your needs
- Offering to meet with you wherever and whenever you prefer
Divorce Mediation Preparation
- Your first step is to complete a Critical Mediation Checklist which outlines your mediation topics and informs you of the documents that will be needed.
- Both spouses will complete a Financial Questionnaire to prepare for an introductory analysis of their estate. Completing this questionnaire will reduce the session times of the mediating by up to one full hour, and that's a savings of money and time.
- Mediation sessions will allow you space and time to make intelligent decisions concerning your debts and assets. Our team uses the newest technology for cash flow analysis and estate allocation. All the information you need will be displayed on a large screen monitor during your time with your mediator.
- After each session, clients receive a copy of their proposed asset and debt allocation. They also take with them a summary of the topics discussed and tentative resolutions reached during the meeting.
- Your mediator will also help you decide on and create a Parenting Plan. At the end of your sessions, you will be ready to design this program. Our team is well-trained in the latest research on assisting our clients with a plan that serves their children correctly and covers all the bases with the judge. Such a program includes:
- Decision-making authority
- Visitation rights
- Child custody requirements
- Parental obligations
- Provisions for resolving future disputes
Our team of mediators is trained and experienced in family law. Their backgrounds and education allow them to, on one hand, present a settlement to the judge that will meet his or her approval. On the other hand, our attorney-mediators like being able to work with both spouses to reach a settlement that is on target for the entire family they are helping.
Contact a Divorce Mediation Attorney in Chicago Today
Contact us at 312-238-9595 to speak with a divorce mediator located in Chicago and let us share with you the Split Simple approach to divorce. Contact Split Simple today to reach an uncontested divorce in Chicago.
Two Prudential Plaza
180 North Stetson Avenue #3500
Chicago, IL 60601