Is Mediation a Shortcut to Resolution?

A cursory internet search about the average cost of a divorce will yield thousands of results, and almost none of them are insightful. The financial cost of a divorce varies so much on a case-by-case basis, due to the unique facts in each matter as well as the geographic location of the action, that about the only honest answer to the question “what does an average divorce cost” is that “in most cases, the cost will be higher than you anticipate.”

Divorce has other costs as well. In addition to the time spent away from work, family and friends, marriage dissolution creates a great deal of fear and anxiety over an unknown future. In addition, while some people embrace the conflict in a divorce, others abhor it and will do almost anything to avoid a fight.


Mediation may offer at least a partial solution. Because it requires less preparation and presentation time than a trial, the cost savings can be substantial. Furthermore, instead of waiting several months for a court date that may very well be put off for another several months, mediation is over in a day in most cases.

There may be other benefits as well. Some research suggests that mediated settlements have a higher voluntary compliance rate than court-issued resolutions, because the parties feel as though they have more invested in the outcome.

The Process

Mediation is more than a light at the end of the tunnel. The process itself is attractive, because it combines the competitiveness of a trial with the problem-solving perspective of a settlement conference.

Both attorneys present opening statements, so the parties feel as though they have their “day in court” where their voices are heard. Afterwards, the parties retire to separate rooms, and a trained mediator conveys settlement offers between the parties while attempting to facilitate a resolution.

There is almost no risk. If the mediation is not successful, the litigation process resumes, eventually culminating in a trial or out-of-court settlement. On the other hand, there is so much to gain, from both a financial and emotional standpoint, that mediation is almost always at least worth a try.

For prompt assistance in this area, contact an experienced Naperville family law attorney. We routinely handle divorce and other family-related matters throughout Chicagoland.


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