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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Gearing Up for A Chicago Divorce? Here’s What You Need to Know About Divorce Mediation vs. Divorce Litigation in Chicago

Gearing Up for A Chicago Divorce? Here’s What You Need to Know About Divorce Mediation vs. Divorce Litigation in Chicago


Often when we see divorces play out on the big screen or in the news, we see couples in heated court battles in front of a judge, pleading their cases and hoping for a favorable outcome. However, although explosive court battles may make for entertaining television and movies, the reality is that divorce litigation is not the only way to get a divorce in Chicago. Chicagoans may be interested to learn that there is another potential pathway to getting a divorce in Chicago called divorce mediation.

Chicago Divorce Mediation: What is it and How is it Different from Chicago Divorce Litigation?

Although most Chicagoans are likely already familiar with how divorce litigation works in Chicago, it is worth walking through the process. In Chicago divorce litigation, typically one spouse files their divorce case in court, and volleys with the other spouse in front of a judge, who makes decisions about important aspects of the divorce in the case that the divorcing couple cannot agree. These decisions include important issues such as child custody, spousal maintenance (or alimony), and the division of assets and property, as well as parenting plans and child support. Importantly, divorce litigation is an adversarial process, meaning that the parties typically do not agree and need a judge to make rulings in the case to finalize the terms of the divorce. In this way, the parties do not have control over the ultimate terms of the divorce, as that is left in the judge’s hands in divorce litigation. Divorce litigation may be more expensive than divorce mediation because it can be a longer process with more issues and controversies to hammer out.

Divorce mediation in Chicago, on the other hand, is a process by which the divorcing spouses decide to go before a mediator (usually an experienced family law or divorce lawyer or a retired judge) to try to work out a resolution. Divorce mediation in Chicago is entirely voluntary and both parties must agree to divorce mediation in order for this process to be utilized. Typically, as in the case with divorce litigation, a party to the divorce may decide that they want to be represented by an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer during the mediation process. Importantly, nothing in mediation is binding unless the parties agree, which gives more control to the parties, rather than the judge. Divorce mediation in Chicago may be a less expensive process than Chicago divorce litigation because oftentimes, if the parties are willing to negotiate to resolution and remain open-minded, the process can be faster with less litigation costs involved.

Help with Your Divorce in Chicago

If you are seeking legal help with your divorce in Chicago, contact the experienced and skilled Chicago divorce lawyers at the law firm Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC. The experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC offer a confidential consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help fight for you. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC and speak to a Chicago divorce lawyer about your case.

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