Dividing assets in an Illinois divorce can be a complex and stressful process, especially if the couple has accumulated significant assets during their marriage. Mediation provides a very helpful process if the divorcing couple understands how mediation works and how it can be used to achieve a fair settlement of all property division disputes.
How does mediation work?
The key to all mediations is the use of a neutral third party to guide all discussions and to provide honest and neutral feedback to the divorcing spouses and their attorneys. Mediators are trained to conduct discussions of divorce issues without taking sides. They are specifically taught to accept statements made by the parties without passing judgment.
How can mediation help a couple divide their assets?
For wealthy couples, a mediator can provide a number of alternatives for dividing their property. For example, if a couple has minor children, the mediator might suggest that the custodial parent live in the family residence and that the residence be sold only after the children have left home. At that point, the house can be sold and the proceeds divided between the ex-spouses. Another option is to liquidate real property assets and include the value of the family residence in the pool of sale proceeds to be divided.
A capable mediator can suggest a great number of ways to divide marital assets. Mediators can work with each spouse and their attorneys to devise methods of liquidating and dividing assets that are fair to both parties.
Comparing mediation to a trial
If a couple cannot agree on a division of assets, the issue must be tried in front of a judge. The trial will be far more expensive that a mediation, even one that involves several sessions. Moreover, each party will have more control over the outcome in a mediation where they are directly involved in the decision making process than in a court trial where the judge makes all the decisions. Many experienced divorce attorneys in Illinois are also certified mediators. Such an attorney can offer a complete explanation of how mediation can speed up the asset division process.