Mediation Attorney Chicago, IL
Many people going through a difficult time with their partner or spouse do not realize the value that a mediation attorney in Chicago, IL relies on from Hurst, Robin & Kay can be. If you and your spouse are on the verge of ending your marriage and are unsure of what next steps to take, going through the mediation process can be extremely beneficial for you both. Even if you believe that your marriage is ending amicably, using an attorney does not mean you are attempting to be aggressive or steamroll them. Instead, it shows you are trying to protect your best interests and want to make sure no detail is forgotten. If you have questions relating to Illinois family mediation and want to know how we can help you, please give our office a call.
What will mediation do for our relationship?
If you and your spouse are getting divorced and do not have any children, you are not required to go through the mediation process. That said, our Chicago, Illinois mediation attorney knows that this can still be an incredibly valuable process for you. When you utilize mediation, you and your spouse will be able to sit down with a neutral third party and discuss your situation and what your options are. The mediator will not have any reasons to favor one side over the other and is only there to help both parties come to a decision on important topics. Popular topics covered during the mediation process are:
- Financial agreements
- Parenting decisions and arrangements
- Who will get which assets and property
- Any debt that you are both in individually or as a married couple
If you and your spouse have a child together, you must go through the mediation process before coming in front of a judge.
See How Mediation Can Help You
The divorce process can be difficult even if you and your spouse are still friendly with one another. However, if you both can’t wait until the divorce goes through and your relationship has been less than amicable, one of the best things you may choose to do is work with your attorney to find a mediator. When you have children involved, going through mediation may be the only way your divorce can remain peaceful. If you would like to learn more about the mediation process and how it can help you with your divorce, please reach out to our office now. We want to help you and your children get through this.
Benefits of Going Through Mediation
There are many benefits of going through mediation.
- You want to keep things private. Going to court when you are getting a divorce can be a nasty, public process. You likely feel like everyone will know your business. However, if you and your spouse can decide on mediation, you may find that much of your business does not have to be aired out publicly.
- You can make your own decisions. A difficult part of divorce is that a judge may be the one making the decisions for you and you might not like what they decide. Mediation can allow you and your spouse to make decisions on your own in a reasonable fashion. While a judge will still have to ‘okay’ the end result, you will be much more likely to get what you both want if you can decide things through mediation.
- You start things off in good faith. Divorce can be ugly. However, mediation allows you and your spouse to sit down with a neutral third party who will ensure things run smoothly. This can be a good way of starting off your new lives with honesty, openness, and a clean slate.
- You know you’re doing everything you can for your kids. Having kids can make divorce even messier. You know you want to do what you can to keep your kids out of the divorce process. A mediator can help ensure your kids are the top priority when it comes to decision-making during mediation.
- You may get divorced quicker. When you and your spouse are both willing to go through mediation, you may find that coming to decisions on things come quicker. This can allow the divorce to come faster than it may have if you were both fighting over details.
Why is it important to have an attorney during this process?
Mediation may sound like it is a simple process when you have a neutral third-party involved. However, you may be more tempted to give away certain assets to appease your spouse if you think they are vindictive, or if you are ending your marriage amicably you may be tempted to give more than you should. Your attorney will be there to ensure you are getting a fair deal and that your rights and assets are protected.
Marital vs. Separate Property
Illinois law requires that all marital property in a divorce be divided equitably between the parties. Before you can determine what sort of property division proposal is reasonable given the circumstances of your case, you first must classify all property owned by either spouse as marital property or separate property. This distinction is important because only marital property is subject to division in a divorce. Your mediation attorney in Chicago, IL can assist you with this process.
Defining Marital Property
As a general rule, marital property includes all property obtained by either spouse during the marriage, no matter how that property is titled or purchased. If a spouse acquires property during the parties’ marriage, there is a presumption that the property constitutes marital property, with a few exceptions.
For instance, a gift that another person gives to one spouse usually takes the form of separate property. However, a dispute may arise as to whether the person gave the gift to one spouse, or jointly to both spouses. The resolution of this type of dispute determines whether the gift is marital or separate property.
Another area of dispute that a Chicago, IL mediation attorney can help with is property that one spouse purchases just prior to the marriage, such as real estate, which the spouse may have purchased in anticipation of the marriage. If this is the case, then the real estate may qualify as marital property, despite the fact that one spouse technically purchased it prior to the marriage.
Defining Separate or Non-Marital Property
As a Chicago, IL mediation attorney can explain, separate or non-marital property includes property that one spouse acquired as a gift or an inheritance, as well as property that one spouse owned prior to the marriage. Any property that a spouse acquires after a court grants a legal separation or after a lengthy but informal separation is also likely to count as separate property. Additionally, property that a spouse exchanged for property that he or she acquired prior to the marriage or as a gift or inheritance also is separate property.
For example, if a husband owned a home prior to the marriage, but sold that home during the marriage and put the proceeds in a bank account separate from all other funds, then the contents of the account, or the proceeds of the sale of the home, typically would qualify as non-marital property. However, this example is not always so clear-cut. Suppose the husband took the proceeds from the sale and used it to jointly purchase a home with his wife, and both spouses contributed to the mortgage payments, property taxes, and insurance premiums for the house thereafter. In this case, the proceeds of the sale, or the newly purchased home, may be commingled with marital assets, thus potentially taking on the character of marital property.
Are you interested in going through the mediation process? Call a trusted mediation attorney in Chicago, Illinois from Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC now.