As an Illinois uncontested divorce lawyer and divorce mediator, I get calls about people wanting to start an uncontested divorce, and from those wanted to start mediation.
Just the other day, I talked to a husband about mediation. Then the wife called me. After I explained how divorce mediation could lead to an uncontested divorce, she said “thanks for making it so simple.” Read on.
What is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is when a neutral mediator helps people reach solutions. Divorce mediators don’t take sides, but suggest solutions.
As I have written before, divorce lawyers who actually litigate divorces make the best divorce mediators because we actually know what can happen in court, and we understand the law. For a bit more about that, see this article.
I expect that every mediation I handle will result in an agreement. When that happens, I draft a memorandum of understanding (MOU). That MOU is the basis for an uncontested divorce in Illinois.
Starting – and finishing – an uncontested divorce
After a divorce mediation is complete, and an MOU is in-hand, it’s time to begin the process of an uncontested divorce in Illinois.
An uncontested divorce can be quick, and simple. It often takes only one week. And because the spouses have gone through mediation, much of the “hard” work is already done.
When a divorce mediation has already been completed, the uncontested divorce lawyer should have an easier job. The role of the lawyer in that case is to prepare full settlement agreements and to handle the case in court.
With the process I use for an uncontested divorce, my client only has to go to court once; I wrote this article about the process.
Beware of imaginary caution
I want to tell you a conversation I recently had with a mediation client. After I explained how easy the mediation and uncontested divorce process can be, she said she spoke to several other lawyers I made it “a lot more simple.”
That’s not surprising.
Many lawyers are greedy and cannot help but tried to make a case more than it needs to be. As you might know, a lawyer can make a lot of money by making a case complicated, and dragging it on. Here are some ways a lawyer might do just that:
- Make the client curious about the spouse hiding money
- Making the process seem very complicated
- Suggesting a divorce cannot be finalized until certain steps have been taken
- Encouraging antagonism
If you want to start divorce mediation in Illinois, doing so is easy. I can speak to both people on the phone for a brief overview of the process, then we can schedule the first mediation session.
Typically, mediation requires three sessions. But depending upon your situation, less or more might be necessary. I’ll let you know what I think when we speak.