This blog has discussed how Rockford, Illinois, parents who are trying to resolve differences about the allocation of parental responsibilities may choose to mediate their disputes.
In fact, as the previous post mentioned, in the local courts around Rockford, judges will generally require those couples having child custody disputes or parenting time problems to give mediation a try.
For those who may not be too familiar with the process, the mediation of a child custody dispute will involve a third party, called a mediator. The mediator must be properly qualified and usually will be an attorney or another type of expert, like a counselor or psychologist, who is established as an authority on children and custody and parenting time issues with them.
The mediator is under an obligation to keep the discussions between the two parties confidential so both sides have every incentive to be open and honest with the mediator. After doing some preliminary research, the mediator will meet with both parents, sometimes in the same room, and help them work out an allocation of parental responsibilities that is both right for them and in the best interests of their children.
Similar to mediation, collaborative law is also focused more on solving problems and overcoming disputes than winning a legal fight. However, collaborative law will usually involve each parent’s attorneys agreeing to share information freely and to work to come to a resolution without resorting to a contested court proceeding. Third parties may play a supporting role in this process, such as in the case of a therapist who provides an opinion about child custody.
Whether either one of these options is right for Rockford parents facing a child custody decision is ultimately a question parents should ask their attorneys.