In many cases, both parents want what it best for their children, but that may be the only point on which they readily agree. When a couple in this position decides to divorce, they may believe they are relegated to allowing an Illinois court to make their child custody decisions for them. That does not necessarily have to be the case.
It may be possible to avoid that potentially contentious court battle by using a mediator to help. A mediator will help keep you and the other parent on track and perhaps even offer suggestions regarding how to resolve an issue. Agreeing to stay out of court allows the two of you to retain control over the future of your family. Changes are inevitable in a divorce, but one thing that will never change is your status as parents.
If you are able to create an agreement that works best for your family, it would obviously have its advantages. Using mediation could also save you money and time as well. When people go to court to resolve these issues, they often become more about “winning” or “losing” instead of about the children. You may be able to avoid this by using mediation.
To be clear, a mediator cannot necessarily give you legal advice and is not there to protect your rights. The mediator’s role in that regard is to merely advise you of what a court may rule in similar child custody cases. To make sure that your rights are protected and you receive the legal assistance you need, it may be in your best interest to seek out the guidance and experience of an Illinois family law attorney.
Source: FindLaw, “Child Custody Mediation FAQ“, Accessed on May 4, 2018