Going To Mediation In Your Chicago Divorce? Here’s What Might Be Discussed
Although we often associate divorce cases with intense and heated legal battles in front of a judge in a courtroom setting, the truth is that many divorce cases are resolved through the divorce settlement process. Divorce cases are, at the end of the day, legal cases, and just like most legal disputes, a divorce can reach a conclusion not just by determination by a judge in court, but at the negotiation table. The most popular form of dispute resolution when it comes to negotiating legal cases is mediation. In the mediation process, an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer or retired judge facilitates negotiations between the parties to a divorce to try to get agreement on key terms of the divorce. If you are going to mediation in your Chicago divorce case, here are some common issues that might be discussed:
- Child Custody: If a child or children were born from the marriage, child custody issues are an important topic that will likely come up at your Chicago divorce mediation. Child custody involves both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to who the child or children will live with, while legal custody refers to who will make important decisions about the child or children’s lives, such as medical, religious, and educational decisions.
- Pet Custody: Although it varies by jurisdiction, Chicago recognizes some form of pet custody. In Chicago divorces, a judge may consider the “best interests” of a pet, similar to the analysis when it comes to child custody.
- Spousal Support/Alimony: Spousal support (or alimony) is the payment of money to one party to a divorce to the other party to the divorce, continuing after the divorce proceedings to support that party. Spousal support can take the form of monthly payments. Simply put, the purpose of spousal maintenance is to help the receiving party get back on their feet after a divorce, when they have fewer assets and/or less earning power than the other party.
- Properties, Assets, and Debts: Another major topic of discussion at a divorce mediation is the division of properties, assets, and debts. This is a complex topic, and if the parties are able to agree on property and debt division at mediation, they may be able to save time and money in the divorce proceedings.
- Any Prenuptial Agreements: If the former couple entered into a prenuptial agreement before getting married, the terms of the agreement will more than likely be discussed at mediation. It is, therefore, important to understand and know the details of any applicable prenuptial agreements before going to mediation.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and there are many other factors that may come up during a divorce mediation in Chicago.
To best prepare for a Chicago divorce mediation, it is best to work with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer. An experienced Chicago divorce lawyer can further guide you through the mediation process, and can be there at the mediation to represent your interests for the best chance of protecting your rights and interests. The experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC help people in Chicago with their divorce mediations and throughout their divorce case. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC today.