NORTH SHORE DIVORCE MEDIATIONS & FAMILY LAW, LLC
NORTH SHORE DIVORCE MEDIATIONS & FAMILY LAW
WE FOCUS ON DIVORCE MEDIATION AS THE PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE
TO DIVORCE LITIGATION
Divorce is Heartbreaking.
Litigating Divorce Makes it Worse.
Mediating Divorce Empowers You to Move Past One of Life's Most Difficult Times in a Friendlier, Healthier, and Less Expensive Way.
In Contrast to Divorce Litigation, Divorce Mediation is:
Far Less Expensive than Litigation.
Choose the Divorce Process that Works Best for You.
Call for a Free Divorce Process Overview and Get All the Information You'll Need to Choose the Divorce Process that Will Work Best for You and Your Family.
DIVORCE MEDIATION IS SHORT-TERM
Because divorce mediation is laser-focused on working out specific divorce issues
like divvying up assets, support, and parenting schedules, it is designed to be very short term.
(See FAQs for a more detailed time-line comparison between mediating and litigating divorce.)
DIVORCE MEDIATION IS CONFIDENTIAL
Mediating your divorce keeps all your personal information private. On the contrary, litigating your divorce means that all of the divorce documents filed in court become public records, and fully accessible to anyone who cares to see them.
(See FAQs for a more detailed privacy comparison between mediating and litigating divorce.)
DIVORCE MEDIATION IS FAR LESS EXPENSIVE THAN DIVORCE LITIGATION
Be prudent and get a better divorce settlement by getting a better divorce. Divorcing couples need to preserve assets to start a new chapter in life on the best financial footing possible. Mediate your divorce and keep more of your family's hard earned money.
(See FAQs for a more detailed cost comparison between mediating and litigating divorce.)
DIVORCE MEDIATION FAQS
WHICH IS QUICKER? MEDIATING OR LITIGATING DIVORCE?
Because divorce mediation is designed to be laser-focused on specific issues like divvying up assets, support, and parenting plans, it is designed to be very short-term, typically 2-3 hour weekly sessions for just a few months. Litigating a divorce commonly takes anywhere from 18 months to 4 years or more.
WHICH COSTS MORE? MEDIATING OR LITIGATING DIVORCE?
In almost all cases, mediating a divorce saves a lot of money. A mediated divorce typically ranges from $3,000 to $9,000. A litigated divorce, on the other hand, can range from $25,000 to $70,000 or more. And, if a divorce goes to trial, it can range from $75,000 to $200,000 or more.
HOW DOES PAYMENT WORK?
We do not charge a retainer to mediate your divorce. Instead, you pay hourly with payment due at the beginning of each session. Additionally, a flat-fee deposit is due when you sign the Agreement to Mediate, which covers all the work that the mediator must do on your behalf outside of the face-to-face mediation sessions, including drafting ongoing agreements between sessions, as well as, the final mediated divorce agreement, document review, correspondence, emails, phone calls, any authorized discussions with outside professionals, and any additional work that may be unique to a couple's situation.
WHAT ROLES DO ATTORNEYS PLAY IN DIVORCE MEDIATION?
Attorneys play two limited, but required roles in divorce mediation:
1) At NSM, a certified divorce mediation attorney conducts the actual face-to-face mediation sessions and helps pilot the couple toward their final mediation agreement. The NSM divorce mediation attorney is familiar with divorce law, but does not represent either party, provide legal advice, or take sides in any way.
2) A second attorney, separate from, but friendly to, divorce mediation legalizes the couple's final mediation agreement. As part of our service, we provide our clients with a list of area mediation-friendly attorneys to perform this a la carte legal function.
IS DIVORCE MEDIATION LIKE THERAPY?
Divorce mediation is not like therapy. Divorce mediation is intended to be laser-focused on the legal and practical decisions that must be made in a divorce. However, some people do find it helpful to work with a therapist outside of mediation.
WHAT IS A CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST?
A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) is an outside expert that provides very specific advice on certain tax laws and financial planning specifically related to divorce. Most couples who mediate their divorce do not end up hiring CDFAs; however, whether you decide to litigate or mediate your divorce, hiring outside experts like CDFAs is always an option, and it is sometimes necessary depending on individual circumstances.
ARE THERE OTHER REASONS THAT PEOPLE CHOOSE TO MEDIATE THEIR DIVORCE INSTEAD OF LITIGATE?
Absolutely. Many people choose mediation because they are looking for a more peaceful and efficient way to address a difficult situation. Mediation is designed to help you find common ground and create the solutions that work best for your individual circumstances. This is particularly important when:
· You want to avoid a costly and nasty court battle.
· You want to focus on your children’s best interests and minimize conflict while also finding fair solutions.
· You want to preserve civil and respectful relationships with each other, and/or with each other’s extended family and friends.
· You prefer that the details of your divorce remain private, as opposed to, becoming a matter of public record.
· You want resolution and closure, so that you can focus on the future.
WHAT IS THE "JUDGE JUDY" FACTOR, AND WHY IS IT SUCH A COMMON AND COSTLY MISCONCEPTION?
Because there is so much reality television and great courtroom drama acted out for our entertainment, there is a common misconception in the general public called the "Judge Judy" factor. It goes to the fact that some people believe they will, one day, after a long hard litigated battle, get their "day in court” to air out all the grievances and misdeeds that may or may not have occurred during the marriage. The simple truth is this almost never happens, unless a divorce proceeding goes to trial, and good divorce litigation attorneys disavow their clients of this notion right from the start. Unfortunately, not all divorce attorneys do and the "Judge Judy" factor drives up attorney fees.
WHAT IF I WANT TO MEDIATE THE DIVORCE, BUT MY SPOUSE DOESN'T?
Divorce mediation is a completely voluntary process. That means both parties must agree to mediate their divorce to save time, maintain privacy, contain costs, and control the outcomes.
WHAT IF A DIVORCE ATTORNEY TOLD ME NOT TO MEDIATE?
In some cases mediation may not be appropriate. Mediation may not be appropriate if there is a pattern of domestic violence, or where there is severe substance abuse, or where mental impairment would interfere with an individual's ability to fully participate in the mediation process.
Absent such concerns, divorce mediation is always an option.
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING WHETHER TO MEDIATE OR LITIGATE A DIVORCE?
Too often people focus on what they might “win” from litigation, but they don’t think about how much upheaval and uncertainty they’ll experience for a protracted period of time. Extended conflict is stressful and takes a toll on your psychological and physical health. Mediating instead helps you close a difficult chapter in your life with your best foot forward.
Since mediated agreements are only finalized when both parties agree, people report higher rates of satisfaction vs. court imposed decisions. Mediated agreements also have higher rates of compliance. That is, people are more likely to honor the agreement and follow through with paying in full, following visitation schedules, etc.
When you litigate your divorce, final decisions regarding your children, property, money, pets, etc., will typically be imposed by a busy judge who may not know you, your family, or your individual needs and circumstances. Although, judges do their best to make the right decisions on your behalf, it is still a large risk for anyone to take. On the other hand, when you mediate your divorce instead, a third-party neutral empowers you to collaboratively make these important life decisions for yourselves, rather than risking having permanently adverse life decisions imposed upon you.
WHY DOES MEDIATING DIVORCE KEEP YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION PRIVATE, WHEREAS LITIGATING DIVORCE MAKES YOUR PRIVATE INFORMATION PUBLIC?
Mediating your divorce keeps your personal information private because all the personal details of your divorce are worked out between the parties behind closed doors in a neutral, quiet and comfortable setting.
On the other hand, when you litigate your divorce, all of the documents, that are filed in court, from beginning to end, become public records and fully accessible to anyone who wants to see them. People who might want to look at the personal details of your divorce filings include family members, friends, associates, neighbors, worship members, co-workers, employers, and even potential employers.
WHY SHOULD I MAKE SURE MY DIVORCE MEDIATION IS ONLY CONDUCTED BY A CERTIFIED DIVORCE MEDIATION ATTORNEY?
Certified Divorce Mediation Attorneys undergo intensive and specialized education and skills training that is very different than what traditional divorce litigation attorneys practice. At NSM, only a certified divorce mediation attorney will conduct your mediation.
Be aware that, some traditional divorce litigation attorneys are beginning to advertise that they also offer divorce mediation in addition to their divorce litigation practice. To be safe, you may want to verify that he or she is a Certified Divorce Mediation Attorney. Not all divorce attorneys have this credential or the skills and training necessary to properly conduct divorce mediations. That can certainly lead to ethical concerns, as well as, problems with the integrity of your mediated agreement.
IF I USE MEDIATION, WILL I NEED TO GO TO COURT TO LEGALLY END THE MARRIAGE?
Yes. To get the Divorce Decree (the legal document completing the divorce), an attorney will file the necessary papers with the court and incorporate your Final Mediation Agreement. If the judge agrees that the settlement negotiated between the parties in mediation is reasonable, your court experience will be quite limited.
WILL MY SETTLEMENT BE LESS IF I MEDIATE MY DIVORCE INSTEAD OF LITIGATING MY DIVORCE.
No. The open secret among litigation divorce attorneys is that the goal posts for divorce settlements are set statutorily and there is little litigation can do to change or alter those outcomes. You can, however, choose a better process to get divorced. You can have greater control over the process and the cost. Talk to a Divorce Mediation attorney before you lay out a big retainer to start litigating. Contact Lisa Wiemken at North Shore Divorce Mediations & Family Law, LLC.
NSM makes available the information and materials on this site for general informational purposes only. Nothing on this site is intended to create or solicit an attorney-client relationship, and nothing posted constitutes legal advice or the solicitation for a formation of an attorney-client relationship. Neither the transmission of the information contained on this site nor your use of the information for communication with NSM is sufficient to create an attorney-client relationship between you and NSM. NSM cannot agree to be retained as a mediator until a screening and consultation is completed with both parties to a prospective mediation, and a written Agreement to Mediate and fee agreement, provided by NSM, is signed by both parties to a mediation and, a NSM attorney. NSM assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
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NORTH SHORE MEDIATIONS & FAMILY LAW, LLC
Get a Better Divorce Settlement by Getting a Better Divorce
8170 McCormick Blvd., Suite 219
Skokie, IL 60076
Fully Accessible Building
Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.