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Articles Posted in Divorce Trends and Developments

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I receive calls and email every week from individuals about divorce mediation. These calls remind me that it is important for divorcing parents to understand what mediation is in Illinois, and how mediation fits into the divorce process in Illinois divorce courts. Mediation in Illinois can cover both the financial planning issues in divorce as well as the parenting issues. Illinois mandates that all divorcing parents with a custody dispute mediate these custody issues before they can litigate custody and visitation.

If you are required to mediate, what does mediation entail? Well, much depends on the parties and the mediator that is chosen. Among trained and experienced mediators, we recognize distinct styles of mediation: Facilitative, Evaluative and Transformative. When I am mediating a custody issue, I use a “Facilitative” approach with some elements from the Evaluative and Transformative models.

Facilitative: The mediator is helping the two parties make their decisions based on their individual definitions of fairness. I help the parties find common ground, and propose alternative parenting approaches. I can provide information and guidance but do not give recommendations or opinions. A divorce mediator in this model is helping the parties create a parenting plan that meets legal requirements, as well as that family’s needs.

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The Illinois Domestic Violence Act is an important part of family law. The Act is designed to provide abused family members and their children with an expedited and safe means to obtain necessary legal protection from continued abuse or harassment.

My first work in the law was as a domestic violence prosecutor, and I appreciated how the law strove to provide protection for abused parents and their children, and criminal sanctions for the abusers.

In divorce and custody practice in Illinois, however, I have all too often seen the IDVA misused as a “sword” to undercut another parent in a custody case, rather than as a proper “shield” against abuse. In the space of one week , I helped a deserving parent obtain emergency relief and a change of custody, and thereby protect young children from a chaotic, abusive environment, and then, within about a day’s time, on behalf of my client I successfully blocked an opposing party from litigating an EOP based on false, fabricated claims. Two IDVA cases, with two very different applications.

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Illinois Divorce Lawyer Blog and Law Offices of Michael F. Roe is pleased to have been announced as a Top Divorce/Family Law Blog for 2009-2010 by Attorney.org. In addition to featuring breaking legal news, Attorney.org profiles different organizations and associations around the country to promote awareness and bring well deserved recognition to different causes.

I enjoy writing for my Firm’s blog, presenting cutting edge issues and developments in Illinois Divorce, Custody, and Family Law. I will continue to do my best to illuminate important issues in Illinois Divorce law, and share with my clients and followers of the Blog insightful information that affects divorcing families.

Issues concerning parental alienation, high conflict divorce, psychological issues in custody cases, collaborative and cooperative divorce, and trends toward shared parenting will be just a few of the subjects that I plan to focus on for 2010.

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