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Preparing for Child Custody Mediation in Illinois

 Posted on August 24, 2023 in Family Law

Arlington Heights Child Custody LawyerWhen divorcing parents in Illinois cannot agree on child custody terms, mediation is often legally required before the case can proceed to court. Proper preparation is key to making custody mediation more effective and productive.

Understand the Mediation Process

It is important to understand how child custody mediation operates in Illinois. Mediation involves parents meeting with a neutral, accredited mediator to attempt to negotiate custody and parenting time agreements. The mediator facilitates discussion but does not impose any binding decisions. Conversations during mediation are considered strictly confidential under Illinois law.

Gather and Organize Documentation

Bring any relevant court orders, child custody evaluations, school records, medical records, police reports, and other important documentation that supports your position on custody arrangements to the mediation session. Having evidence available helps mediators fully understand the circumstances when reviewing proposals. Keep copies organized in a binder for easy reference.

Draft a Proposed Parenting Plan

Before entering into mediation, it is highly recommended to allocate sufficient time to meticulously outline a comprehensive parenting plan. This plan should include a clear and detailed schedule for physical and legal custody, as well as provisions for holiday and vacation splits, transportation responsibilities, and any other essential factors related to custody arrangements that hold significance for you. 

By presenting a concrete, written plan, you provide the mediator with specific details to thoroughly review, analyze, and modify in order to facilitate the development of a mutually agreeable resolution.

Make a List of Priorities

To make the most of your mediation discussion on custody and parenting time, it is beneficial to create a comprehensive list that outlines your key priorities and interests in detail. This list will serve as a valuable reference point, ensuring that the conversation remains focused and productive, steering clear of any irrelevant tangents that may arise. By providing additional detail and specificity, you empower yourself to effectively communicate your needs and concerns, ultimately working towards a resolution that best serves the well-being of all parties involved.

Remain Calm and Flexible

Successful mediation requires parents to negotiate reasonably and demonstrate a degree of flexibility when warranted. Do not become overly emotional or inflexible during the session. Stay pragmatic and focused on your children's best interests.

Consult an Arlington Heights Family Law Attorney

If you are facing a potential divorce and would like to learn more about mediation, reach out to an Illinois divorce lawyer. Call A. Traub & Associates at 847-749-4182 to get started with the process.




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