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What Happens if My Ex Ignores Our Mediated Divorce Settlement?

 Posted on May 28, 2024 in Divorce

Arlington Heights, IL mediation lawyerMost couples who attend mediation are able to resolve their issues in the divorce. It is the best way to avoid a court battle, which can be costly and messy. It is also the most common method of alternative dispute resolution, which simply means resolving disputes without fighting them out in court.

When parties come to an agreement through mediation it is called a settlement. A settlement is legally binding once it is signed by the parties. If one of the spouses does not honor the divorce settlement, there are legal consequences. If you feel your ex is not abiding by your divorce settlement, contact an Illinois attorney who can explain the next steps. 

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a private process where parties in a dispute try to resolve their differences outside of court. There are a few elements to mediation:

  • Mediation is run by a mediator. A mediator is a trained negotiator and neutral party appointed by the court. Mediators are often former judges.

  • The mediator meets with both parties together, and then separately with each party.

  • Attorneys are not required to be there, but having your lawyer with you in mediation can be a great advantage.

  • Nothing that is said in the mediation will be disclosed to a judge, with certain exceptions, including the final settlement agreement.

  • If a settlement is reached, the mediator will submit it to the court.

  • If no settlement is reached, the parties will proceed to litigation, where their attorneys argue before a judge.

When couples file for divorce and do not agree on the issues, courts automatically order the parties to attend mediation, except in certain cases. In divorces involving reports of domestic violence, for example, it is often neither safe nor appropriate to have the abused spouse negotiate with his or her abuser.

Can You Ignore a Mediation Settlement?

Once both parties sign a mediated divorce settlement, it is binding as a court order and must be obeyed. If one of the parties refuses to comply, the case will not go back to court. A judge will most likely place that party in contempt of court, which means that the individual is disobeying the court. Once a person is in contempt, he or she can be arrested and brought before a judge to explain his or her actions.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Mediation Attorney

Mediation is a great alternative to court in many cases and helps couples reach settlements they otherwise would not have. An Arlington Heights, Illinois mediation attorney is a smart way to not only reach a settlement that serves your interests but to make sure that settlement is honored.

At A. Traub & Associates, we thrive on guiding our clients through divorce mediation. Our attorneys are aggressive about defending your interests both during mediation and afterward. Call 847-749-4182 to let us handle your divorce today.

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