Divorce can be one of the most difficult and challenging experiences of your life – mentally, emotionally and financially. However, Split Simple offers a path to reduce the stress and acrimony associated with this process. The unique divorce mediation process provided by Split Simple allows you to make intelligent, informed decisions about your divorce but still maintain control of the process and cost.
Split Simple provides a wide range of divorce mediation services to couples in the Chicago area. Our attorney-mediators have extensive experience handling divorce matters, and we can help you create a fairer and more effective divorce agreement than is typically achieved through litigation. By choosing mediation, you will reduce the expense and time associated with the divorce process, allowing you not only to preserve significant financial resources but also begin to heal and move forward with your life.
You can learn more about your divorce mediation options by speaking to our attorney-mediators in person. Please call 855-665-9920 today to schedule a free consultation at one of our Chicago offices.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is an alternative to a contested, litigated divorce that can be an ideal option for couples who are willing to proceed down a path of working together in a collaborative process. During divorce mediation, you and your spouse will work with a neutral third party, called a mediator, who will guide you through the process of crafting your divorce agreement.
Your attorney-mediator doesn't represent either party in the divorce and doesn't have the power to make binding decisions. Instead, it's best to view your mediator as a facilitator who will help you and your spouse more collaboratively resolve the issues in dispute at the negotiating table. Ultimately, this is the best way to create an agreement that is fair and sensible for both parties.
Divorce mediation can be used to resolve all of the issues typically addressed in a litigated divorce, including:
- Child custody and visitation: If you have young children, working out a fair custody schedule will be one of most important aspects of the divorce mediation process. Our attorney-mediators will keep you focused on arriving at a custody agreement that balances the hectic schedules of you and your spouse with what is in the best interests of your children.
- Child support: The state of Illinois has enacted strict child support guidelines which dictate how much money must be paid each month to the parent with primary child custody. Our attorney-mediators will ensure your agreement reflects these state mandated guidelines.
- Alimony/spousal support: Illinois law also establishes guidelines governing spousal support payments. Our attorney-mediators will guide you through this process to ensure your agreement adheres to these state laws.
- Property division: Illinois adheres to the doctrine of equitable distribution, which states that property and assets will be split in an equitable, but not necessarily equal manner. Split Simple's attorney-mediators can guide you through the property division process to ensure your agreement meets the state equitable distribution standards.
- Parenting plans: If you have young children, you will need to work with your spouse on a variety of parenting issues until your children reach adulthood. During the mediation process, we will help you create a parenting plan that spells out how these issues will be handled moving forward.
Keep in mind that you and your spouse don't have to agree on all of these issues at the start of the process. As long as you are willing to work together amicably and collaboratively, you should be able to resolve your differences through mediation.
Divorce Mediation: Basic Principles
At Split Simple, we've refined our divorce mediation process based on years of experience handling these matters. We've seen our system work, and we can help you create a more effective divorce agreement using our time-tested methods.
The following core principles guide our mediation process:
- The most effective way to resolve a divorce is in a calm environment that fosters a productive exchange of ideas between both parties
- It's important that both parties remain engaged throughout the process since the most effective agreements are created when both parties contribute ideas and are willing to listen to the needs and desires of the other party
- Mediation is a fair and impartial process that doesn't favor one party over the other
- In order to maintain this impartial process, your attorney-mediator must be a neutral third party
- Your mediator must have extensive experience in the area of family law and understand the state guidelines which apply to your case in order to guide you through the process in a manner that will produce an agreement which will be upheld by the courts
- When resolving child care issues, the mediator must always keep both parties focused on doing what is in the best interests of the child
While each case is different and must be handled based on its individual merits, these core principles allow our attorney-mediators to guide you to a mutually beneficial resolution to your divorce.
At Split Simple, we are committed to providing you with high quality service at an affordable price. We encourage you to review our pricing plans to get a sense of which option will work best for you.
Role of Your Split Simple Attorney-Mediator
Traditional divorces are adversarial in nature. In this situation, each party works with their own attorney who is committed to fight aggressively for their client's interests every step of the way. In cases where the parties are unable to work together to reach an agreement, this adversarial dynamic is necessary in order to resolve the issues in dispute. However, this adversarial process is not the only way to settle a divorce and in our experience, it often is not the most effective way to handle the process.
In most instances, you can achieve a smarter, simpler and more cost effective divorce process by choosing mediation. Our attorney-mediators will always work to resolve disputes between you and your spouse in an unbiased and impartial manner. Our mediators don't represent either party. Instead, we strive to resolve all disputes in a way that will benefit both parties.
All of the divorce mediators at Split Simple are licensed attorneys with extensive experience working in the field of family law. As a result, our mediators have a more sophisticated understanding of the legal principles associated with your divorce, ensuring your final agreement will be drafted in a manner that will be approved by the courts.
Throughout the process, our attorney-mediator will make sure you and your spouse are both treated fairly. In addition, we make it a priority to guide you towards an agreement that reflects a fair balancing of each party's interests.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
You will experience several important benefits when you choose mediation instead of a traditional divorce. These include:
- Reduces the emotional and financial stress associated with the process
- Provides a more affordable option by reducing legal fees and eliminating court costs
- Completes the divorce process in a shorter period of time, allowing you to move on with your life sooner
- Helps you and your spouse maintain greater control over the divorce process by empowering you to determine how issues are resolved instead of relying on a judge who isn't familiar with the unique needs of your family
- Facilitates the creation of more child-focused parenting plans which help your children adjust to post-divorce life more easily
- Encourages a more cooperative, collaborative and respectful atmosphere that provides you with the tools to achieve a more creative resolution to the issues in dispute
- Your dispute will not be part of the public record, keeping the process more confidential
- Facilitates better communication between you and your spouse, allowing you to develop a process that can be used to more effectively resolve parenting issues down the road
- Allows you to craft a divorce agreement that both parties will find fair
Is Divorce Mediation the Right Option for Me?
Divorce mediation is most effective in situations where both parties have a desire and ability to work together amicably to resolve all issues in dispute. You may want to consider mediation if:
- You would like your children to have the smoothest possible transition to post-divorce life
- You are ready to begin looking for solutions for the future rather than re-litigating the past
- You and your spouse prefer a process that reduces conflict
- You would like to eliminate the extensive costs associated with protracted divorce litigation
- You are comfortable sitting with your spouse and a neutral third party and resolving issues of property division, child custody and support
Keep in mind that mediation isn't always the best option. Divorce mediation may not result in a productive outcome if:
- You and your spouse may significantly disagree on the major issues and struggle to find any common ground
- You may have a bitter, acrimonious relationship with your spouse and struggle to work together collaboratively
- There may be a history of domestic violence or abuse in the relationship
- One or both of you may struggle with drug or alcohol addiction
However, we have helped many clients who struggled with these issues come to a successful resolution. Please advise us of any of these concerns so that we may adequately assess your case, but even in these circumstances, we can help!
Your Split Simple Attorney-Mediator: Rebecca L. Billick
Rebecca L. Billick is the attorney-mediator who provides Split Simple's divorce mediation services to couples in the Chicago area. Ms. Billick earned her law degree from Indiana Maurer School of Law in Bloomington. She is licensed to practice law in both Illinois and Indiana. In addition, she has undergone extensive training in the fields of domestic relations mediation and collaborative law. This background allows her to facilitate the productive discussions necessary when resolving a divorce in a collaborative manner.
Ms. Billick has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and brings her extensive counseling experience working with children and families to each mediation session. She has conducted training sessions in conflict resolution, worked on efficacy studies for child-focused programming, and written briefs on a wide range of topics associated with children and the law. This work provides her with an understanding of how issues associated with divorce impact the daily lives of children and families, enabling her to guide you through the process in a child-centric manner.
If you would like a smarter, simpler and more cost effective divorce process, find out if divorce mediation is right for you. Please contact Split Simple using the form on this page or call 855-665-9920 today to schedule your free consultation. We serve clients in the Chicago, Illinois area.