In family law cases, the most commonly used service (outside of the hiring of legal counsel in this process) is mediation; perhaps the most attractive aspect of mediation is that it can be tailored to suit the needs of each individual dispute. The mediator can play a low-key and conciliatory role or take on a more proactive role by making suggestions and probing for convergent interests. At WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, we can guide you through the process as the neutral, third-party mediator; mediation is often employed after it becomes apparent that direct negotiation between adversaries will not resolve the dispute efficiently. However, anyone contemplating mediation must also consider the need to secure guidance of legal counsel, as parties are oftentimes not aware of what their rights and responsibilities are, much less what the current laws and trends are in regards to assets, liabilities, maintenance, child support, parental allocation and have difficultly navigating the mediation process without the simultaneous guidance of legal counsel.
Mediation is a confidential process where a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the parties in reaching an agreement regarding any unresolved or contested issues in their case. The mediator’s fundamental role is to facilitate a conversation between the parties and ultimately come to a mutually agreeable resolution of some or all of the issues by:
Mediation for domestic relations cases in Cook County, Illinois is governed by Cook County Circuit Court Rule 13.4:
Pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rules, mediation is required in any case where the allocation of parental responsibilities (either parenting time or decision-making), relocation, or other child-related issues (except child support) are in dispute. Parents may agree to a private mediator or utilize the court’s mediation services, or the court may appoint a mediator from an approved list of local mediators. In Cook County, parents are referred to Family Mediation Services for mediation if they cannot agree.
Mediation may also be utilized for non-child-related issues (such as disagreements over how debts and assets will be divided or maintenance), either by agreement of the parties or by court order. If the parties cannot agree on a mediator to assist in resolving these types of issues, the court will appoint a mediator from an approved list of mediators. Contact WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, today to learn more about mediation services.
It was quick and easy and those are two words I did not think I would say about my divorce. We are still friendly too. We just were not meant to be together anymore. Ward Family Law made sure to draft the documents with the terms that we agreed on which kept us on good terms and there was no fighting. I cannot recommend them enough if you are looking for a clean, honest, quick, easy divorce.
We were set to get married in a little over a month and my family insisted on a premarital agreement. On my very first call Jennifer explained the entire process and timing. They hit the ground running and got everything completed and signed well before our wedding date. That made everything much less stressful so I thank them so much for their professionalism and timeliness.
Our plan was to get married after the baby was born and then a year later we still were not married and we were going our separate ways. I had no idea that the birth certificate alone did not make me the legal parent of our baby in Illinois. Luckily, Ward Family Law handles these cases and established paternity through a DNA test and submitted the results to the court. We now have an agreement on time with our kids and support too.
Cannot recommend Jennifer, Emily and the entire team at Ward Family Law enough. If you have a divorce, custody or other family law matter then stop looking. They will have your back until the end. While my case was messy, they kept it on track and brought it through to the end. It was the best that I could have hoped for.
We already split up all our accounts and had no debt. We just needed the paperwork for the divorce. We started it on our own and then realized just how complicated it all was and needed to make sure it would get accepted by the divorce court. In came Jennifer and she explained the "friendly" divorce process that they oftentimes do and that allowed us to get it all done on our terms and fast.
When our child graduated high school I needed a lawyer to file papers to stop my child support payments and to figure out how we were going to pay for college. Jennifer at Ward Family Law got everything together and filed with the court. From start to finish it was smooth and by filing at the right time my child support payments did not continue for months and months. That saved me so much money - enough to cover the retainer in the first place. Well worth it to do it right
My kid was graduating high school and I needed to end my child support obligation and also needed to get money for college costs and expenses. While these are two different things, the attorneys at Ward Family Law handled the court filings and had the right order entered by the Judge terminating my child support obligation and then also got a contribution order entered for college costs and expenses. What a relief and I cannot say enough good things about the family law team.
I wanted a legal team that could do it all since I didn't know which way it would go. I was unsure about mediation, settlement, or litigation and my research showed that they could do it all. They did. Mediation was guided by my attorney, Jennifer, at Ward Family Law and although it was not a great outcome it was because the other side would not compromise. No problem. Jennifer transitioned the case to litigation to push for what I knew was right and what I knew I needed to fight for. We fought the good fight for my kids…
I am already a very anxious person. Ward Family Law walked me through the process and was with me every step of the way. Emily is patient and communicative. She would call or email me back the same day and made sure I was comfortable. The divorce was a difficult time but she made it so much better and I couldn't be happier about the outcome.
We were getting married in a month and needed to get our premarital agreement done quickly but also done right. Ward Family Law got us a list of talking points for me and my fiance to figure out what we wanted included and they walked me through the financial disclosures and other things that have to get done to make sure the premarital agreement is valid. Otherwise, what is the point, right? They did the draft of the premarital agreement and since we had talked through it with their guidance prior it made the entire process so easy. Highly recommend!!
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