100 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1111,
Chicago, IL 60602


call us312-984-1514

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on April 24, 2024 in Divorce

Chicago, IL divorce attorneyFighting out a divorce in court, otherwise known as litigation, should be a last resort. Divorce court battles are often costly, hostile, and messy. For this reason, judges usually encourage divorcing couples to first try resolving their differences outside of court through alternative dispute resolution. 

There are two main types of alternative dispute resolution when it comes to divorce:

  • Mediation

  • Collaborative law

This article will discuss each type of alternative dispute resolution. A qualified Illinois attorney can help you decide which one is best for you and can guide you through the entire divorce process.

What is Mediation?

When two people get divorced and disagree on certain issues, a judge will usually order them to attend mediation. This is where both sides will meet with a mediator, who is a neutral third party appointed by the court to help them resolve their differences. The mediator is trained in negotiation and will try to get both parties to compromise on the issues that are in dispute. In a mediation session, the mediator will meet with both parties together and then place them in separate rooms, going back and forth to meet with each one separately.

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative divorce is when each party hires a team led by an attorney to negotiate the divorce. The teams may consist of mental health professionals, forensic accountants, child psychologists, financial advisors, and other experts. The attorneys work with each other to achieve a resolution that honors the interests of their respective clients. 

Collaboration is meant to be based on mutual respect and involve good-faith negotiations. It is not a hostile, high-conflict process. The lawyers and their clients sign an agreement that neither side will threaten the other with litigation during the collaboration. Problem-solving is valued by both sides. 

Which Method is Right for Me?

Before you decide which method to pursue, consider the differences between mediation and collaborative law:

  • Collaborative law can be significantly more expensive than mediation.

  • In mediation, you work with a neutral party (the mediator), whereas in collaborative law you work with an attorney who is there to defend your interests.

  • Mediation usually takes a few months, whereas collaborative law can take much longer.

  • In mediation, the mediator’s goal is to achieve a compromise. In collaborative law, your attorney’s goal is to achieve a compromise that is best for you.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL Divorce Attorney

If you are considering getting divorced, you should first speak to an experienced Chicago, Illinois divorce lawyer. A skilled attorney will be able to walk you through the pros and cons of each method of alternative dispute resolution. Curtis Ross is a family law attorney with over 30 years of experience and is also a trained mediator and certified public accountant. At The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C., our team will work to simplify your divorce process and fight for the best possible outcome. Call 312-984-1514 for a consultation today.

Share this post:
Back to Top