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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Woman in Midst of Divorce Proceedings Asks Financial Times: Is Mediation Better than Going to Court in Divorce Cases?

Woman in Midst of Divorce Proceedings Asks Financial Times: Is Mediation Better than Going to Court in Divorce Cases?


A divorcing woman wrote into the online edition of the Financial Times this week to ask a pressing and important question: is divorce mediation more advantageous than divorce litigation? Specifically, she wrote, “My husband wants to mediate instead of going through a proper court process for our divorce on the basis it will be quicker and cheaper. Would there be disadvantages to me in doing so and is a mediation legally binding?” Mediation is often a mysterious process for people and the mere suggestion of it from an opposing spouse can cause suspicions and mistrust about the process. But what is mediation and is it a better option than duking it out in court? Your questions, and her questions, are answered here.

Mediation in Chicago Divorces Explained

In Chicago divorces, mediation is a voluntary process where both spouses get together (typically for one day) in the same building to negotiate the terms of their divorce. The spouses are typically represented by their Chicago divorce lawyers, and a mediator is present to conduct the mediation. A mediator is typically a retired judge or experienced Chicago divorce lawyer who knows the ins-and-outs of Chicago divorce cases. The spouses and their lawyers are often put in separate rooms and communication goes through the mediator. By the end of the process, a settlement on the terms of the divorce may be reached.

Chicago Mediation: Is it “Quicker and Cheaper”?

Mediation is a good option for some people, but it is not always suitable for every Chicago divorce. Therefore, at the outset, it is best to speak with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer about whether mediation is suitable in each unique case. Generally speaking, however, mediation may be a quicker and cheaper way to get a divorce than divorce litigation, if the parties are willing to be open-minded and compromise.

Chicago Mediation: Is it “Legally Binding”?

There is no decision-maker in a mediation that makes a final and binding order or decision (a mediator does not make any decisions, but rather facilitates the negotiations). However, if the parties reach a meeting of the minds on the terms of their divorce, they can enter into a divorce settlement agreement, which can become the law of the case. In sum, while there is no divorce order or decree entered at mediation, the parties can come to terms and finalize their divorce through mediation and the finalization of the divorce settlement agreement.

Help with Your Chicago Divorce Mediation or Chicago Divorce Litigation

Whether you are considering Chicago divorce mediation or you think you will likely litigate your divorce case, the best place to start is by speaking to an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer about your rights and options. The experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC offer a confidential consultation to learn about your unique divorce case and to see if they can help you in your Chicago divorce. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC today and speak to a lawyer about your case.



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