BREAKING UP ISN'T EASY but... THE LEGAL ASPECT OF DIVORCE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A NIGHTMARE
I spent 20 years as a divorce lawyer, handling the cases for either husbands or wives. At the moment, I have chosen not to take on any new divorce clients and am instead using all of that experience as a divorce attorney to help couples mediate their divorces. Why? Lately, with legal and societal changes, I am of the belief that the legal system in Illinois divorces is more seriously flawed than ever, especially in Cook and DuPage Counties, where I practice. With that comes the firm belief that there has to be a better way. For some people, sadly that is not the case and they have no choice but to go through the traditional route of getting divorced in Illinois, which might look something like this: Everything goes through lawyers at $350 an hour, continuance after continuance in court, judges who don't move things along as quickly as people would like, lawyers on 'the other side' who no longer focus on the client and stall the case, and years of expensive litigation. Honestly, after 20 years I find myself my banging my head against a wall more and more, dealing with a system that I cannot change and have had enough. I decided to look for a different way to help people who want to get divorced and -for qualified couples only- that way is divorce mediation.
Can I mediate the terms of my divorce to avoid legal fees and legal hassles?
Yes and no. Many couples chose to use a neutral mediatior (often a lawyer, like me) to come to an agreement before a divorce is even filed. This can cut down significanlty on the amount of time and money spent once a divorce is filed, not to mention stress. I am a big believer in mediation, for the right people. Not everyone is a candidate but if you are curious about how mediation works, call me or download our free Fast Track Mediation Guide to learn more. I'd be happy to mediate your divorce for you and your spouse, if mediation is appropriate for you. This can be done in either our Itasca or Schaumburg office. At least one party still should be represented by a lawyer, as your mediator cannot also act as your lawyer, and its far easier to hire a lawyer to handle the procedural aspects than to try to do that yourself. Also, since your mediator will not give you legal advice, you will want to run the terms of your agreement through a lawyer who works exclusively for you. But, if you can sucessfully work out all or some of your issues in mediation that would have otherwise been constested in court, you'll likely be saving a bundle and can afford to hire a lawyer to help you with everything that your mediator can't do.
Carol O'Connor Cadiz