FAQ's. Common Questions answered here.
Going through something as difficult as a major legal event can leave you filled with questions about the past, present, and what to expect in the future. Get answers to some of the top questions I receive, to help put your mind at ease. Check back often for even more answers to your legal questions. Better yet, give us a call to see how we can help.
- Page 17
Have you ever been disciplined by the bar?
No, never. (And they say that divorce lawyers are the number one type of attorney to have complaints lodged against them).
Do you have any publications?
Yes! I currently offer an Illinois Divorce Guide and have written a book called “Defending the Ending” which is a more comprehensive resource for people in Illinois who are either getting divorced or thinking about getting a divorce. I have also written a bankruptcy book which answers many frequently asked question and is titled "Bankruptcy Myths Exposed!" Both books are available free of charge for Illinois residents. Fill out a webform or give us a call to reserve your copy!
Where are you located?
The main office is in Itasca (DuPage County). It is on Devon Avenue, near the intersection with Arlington Heights road. It is first floor with handicap access. My other office is a satellite office in Schaumburg, off of Algonquin road near Rolling Meadows. All meetings are by appointment only, for both locations.
What are your hours?
The hours vary from day to day, week to week. Please call my office at 630 250-8813 for availability, to schedule your confidential and informative consultation.
What types of issues can be worked out at mediation involving my divorce or custody case?
Just about anything in dispute can be the subject of mediation. Typical issues seen in mediation of family law cases involve:
- Joint Custody or Sole Custody
- Residential Custody (sometimes known as “Physical Custody”): Whom the kids will live with
- Property Division: Who Gets What
- What happens to The House?
- How to divide debt at the time of divorce
- Visitation of the Children
- Maintenance or Spousal Support (this used to be called “Alimony”)
- Division of Pension or other Retirement Benefits
- Joint Parenting Agreements
- Financial Issues in Divorce
Remember though, regardless of the issue, mediation won’t work if both sides are not willing to keep an open mind, listen, and be willing to work towards a fair resolution.
Can mediation help fix a broken marriage?
Fixing a broken marriage is neither the goal nor the focus of mediation. If you think that the marriage might be saved and are looking for someone to sit down with you and your spouse to help you work on your marriage, mediation is premature! Please consult with a marriage counselor, family therapist or other mental health professional. Mediation in the context of divorce occurs after the decision has been made to actually get a divorce, and the couple needs help resolving certain issues before the divorce can be made final. Referrals are available from this office to reputable mental health professionals in Oak Park who are available for family and marriage counseling.
Can one mediator represent both of us?
A mediator does not represent anyone. A mediator is a neutral third party who, while interested in helping to craft a solution, does not have a direct interest in the outcome and is not “rooting” for one person or the other. Most mediation sessions are led by only one mediator who is there to help both parties, but sometimes mediators will work with a “co-mediator” as a team.
Do I need a lawyer if we have agreed to mediation?
You will each probably need a lawyer. If you are considering mediation, the issues in your divorce are likely of the type where you would each benefit from legal counsel. Even if you are deciding the entire outcome of your divorce in mediation, a divorce action must still be filed in state court in order to legally become divorced. Your mediator cannot file legal documents on your behalf.
If we use a mediator who is also a lawyer, can our mediator provide us with legal advice?
No. While many mediators are also lawyers, mediators cannot give either one of you legal advice. If a legal question comes up, your mediator should direct each of you to your respective attorneys.
Will mediation save money?
Reaching an agreement in mediation can be a huge money saver! While it is true that possibly three professionals now need to get paid (2 attorneys plus one mediator), many people still find that they can save significant legal costs if they use a mediator. A disputed issue is a disputed issue, which, if you cannot solve on your own, will need to be negotiated in the course of the divorce with the help of the attorneys. Sometimes this will also involve the input of a judge at a “pre-trial” conference with both attorneys. Mediation tends to focus like a laser beam, directly on the issue that you want solved; and sometimes resolution of one issue will naturally and almost accidentally, lead to resolution of multiple issues. The main money saving benefit of mediation is that it will avoid a trial if it is successful! If your case gets litigated to the end and must go to trial because a settlement was not reached, it is going to be very expensive. The amount of attorney time required to adequately prepare for a trial adds up very fast and you will likely be asked to make a large trial retainer deposit.