The Illinois Supreme Court has established and expanded rules to ensure that child custody proceedings move quickly, competently, and are focused on the “best interest of the child”. This includes expediting all custody matters, with no continuances allowed unless good cause is shown. Judicial decisions are required within 60 days of the conclusion of any hearing or trial regarding custody.
Further, the Illinois Supreme Court, through Supreme Court Rule 905, requires that there be mediation programs in each judicial circuit in Illinois for child custody and visitation cases. Mediation is mandated pursuant to this rule, for parents who are in conflict over custody, visitation, removal (when one parent wants to move the child/children out of state), and other non-child support issues related to their children. The only exception is for cases “deemed ineligible” for mediation, which is likely only in the case where there are allegations of domestic violence.
Mediation is a method of resolving disputes where a neutral person, either appointed by the court or agreed upon and chosen independently by the parties, works with both parties in an effort to come up with a visitation or custody agreement or to modify an existing agreement, and eliminating the need to go to court. A good mediator will be creative, and give the parties ideas for mutual gain so that nobody becomes so entrenched in their position they won’t compromise. The ultimate goal of the mediator in a custody proceeding is to assist the parents in forming and agreeing to a parenting plan which is in the best interest of the child. Mediation through the court’s Family Mediation Services is free of charge.
The main advantage to a successful mediation is that it is likely to significantly reduce the cost for the parties. However, mediation works best when you can rely on the advice of counsel during the mediation process. Parties are more likely to reach an agreement during mediation if they can consult with their lawyers to discuss their legal obligations and rights. Mediation further prevents your children from being dragged into any potentially messy court proceedings, and expediting even further the resolution of your custody issues.
Any time there are custody issues between two parties, there will be highly charged passions involved. Whether negotiating privately, in court-mandated mediation, or at a trial, it is very important that you have an effective Illinois custody lawyer at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in your corner. If you are located in Lyle, Lake Forest, or the Chicago metro area and would like to consult experienced attorneys about your mandatory mediation of child visitation, custody, or removal issues, contact our offices today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
100 Saunders Rd.
Lake Forest, IL 60045
3333 Warrenville Rd.
Lisle, IL 60532
77 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
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