Disputes that occur in the family courts, such as custody contests, visitation disagreements, and divorces, have the potential to permanently damage the relationships within your family. When a family becomes involved in a courtroom trial, the adversarial nature of the proceeding, along with a focus on a “winner” and a “loser,” often causes family members to say things that are extremely hurtful to the other members of the family. After the court proceeding is over, these individuals may never regain the good relationship they once had.
A family mediator will help you avoid this drastic scenario. Many Chicago families have hired family mediators to help them resolve their disagreements more peacefully and expeditiously. During mediation, a third party neutral, the mediator, will work with the parties to help them negotiate their own settlement terms. The parties are free to disagree with any terms that are suggested, as the mediator will not make any binding decisions on behalf of the parties.
During a family court trial, every piece of evidence presented and every bit of testimony becomes public record. This is especially concerning for parties with children, as they fear that their children may look up their case in public court records years later. Mediation maintains the privacy of these sensitive issues. Mediation does not take place in a courtroom, and the mediator cannot be called to testify at a trial in the same case if the mediation breaks down. Therefore, the parties know that the issues that are discussed with the mediator will remain private.
Additionally, when the parties agree to collaborate and work out an agreement, they typically leave the mediation with their relationship intact, in contrast to after a trial, where the relationship may be destroyed. Since parties with children will have to co-parent after their divorce, choosing mediation makes this transition much smoother.