Why consider mediation?

Court-referred mediation:

If a judge has signed a court order that requires you to go to mediation with your child or children's other parent or guardian, you will be participating in court-ordered or court-referred mediation. The issues that brought you to the courthouse will be addressed in mediation before the court case continues.

Illinois law requires parents to engage in mediation in certain types of child-related cases. This gives parents the opportunity to arrive at a solution together that works best for their family before a judge steps in to make the decision for the parents.

Self-referred mediation:

Even if a judge has not referred the parties to mediation, mediation is an option for people who find themselves in conflict. As long as all sides to the conflict agree to participate, self-referred mediation can occur. This is true for not only child-related cases, but for many other types of cases as well. In fact, there doesn't even have to be a lawsuit filed or about to be filed. The people experiencing the conflict can simply choose to work with a trained, impartial professional to try to resolve their differences between themselves instead of or before going to court.

Some advantages of court-referred and self-referred mediation:


The route to a final decision at the courthouse can be long. Cases sometimes go on for years due to a number of factors, such as little time available on the court calendar, the mandatory time periods the parties must be given to file documents with the court, and coordinating conflicting schedules. On the other hand, mediations can often occur with just a couple weeks' notice. If a full agreement is reached at mediation, the parties have saved themselves a potentially lengthy court process.


Clients often pay their attorneys for the number of hours worked. Preparing a case for a hearing or a trial takes an attorney many, many hours and easily becomes very costly. While some attorney preparation may be desired before the mediation begins, preparing for a mediation is typically not as time intensive. Mediation can be an economical, efficient option.


Many people find the experience of waiting for a court date and attending court proceedings to be stressful. A judge is going to make a big decision about them, even though that judge barely knows the parties. A lot is out of the parties' control when the decision is left to a stranger. Mediation returns that control to the parties themselves.


Mediation can allow the parties to express themselves and be heard in a way that is not always possible in court proceedings. During mediation, the parties have the opportunity to communicate what is important to them. There is no one-size-fits-all process or outcome. The parties are active participants in coming to solutions that fit the circumstances.


The parties to a dispute may feel scared, betrayed, angry, or anxious. In such situations, it is easy for the parties to lash out at each other in destructive or unproductive, ways. A trained mediator will help focus the parties and ensure that the process is respectful and positive. For parties that will need to parent together after the end of a relationship, for example, mediation can be a more cooperative and less antagonistic way to address issues.

Mediation is available in the following areas:

  • Family Law / Domestic Relations

    • Divorce & Separation, including division of assets and debts, spousal support & child-related issues

    • Parenting Time (formerly known as visitation or physical child custody)

    • Parental Decision-Making Responsibilities (formerly known as legal child custody)

    • Child Support & Contribution to Children's Expenses

    • Post-Divorce Issues

  • Probate

    • Contested Estates

  • Landlord-Tenant

    • Forcible Entry & Detainer (Evictions)

    • Condition of Premises

  • Civil Litigation

    • Property Damage

    • Personal Injury

    • Land Disputes

  • Other Personal and Business Conflicts or Issues

If you have a matter that does not appear in the list above, please contact us. We may be able to assist you.