What is the mediation process?
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What Is the Mediation Process?

Illinois Certified Mediator with Offices in Arlington Heights and Lombard

The mediation process starts with the selection of a neutral, third-party mediator. If this is a private, voluntary mediation, the participants are free to use any mediator they choose. If it is a court-ordered mediation, the court may appoint a mediator, or the participants may choose one, depending on the county and the specifics of the case.

Parties can go to mediation with or without legal representation. If you choose to retain an attorney, you should meet with your attorney ahead of time to prepare for the mediation process. The process begins with a joint meeting between the participants, the mediator, and sometimes the participants' attorneys. This meeting is held at a neutral location that all parties agree on.

At the initial meeting, the mediator explains the process to the parties to ensure that they understand the role of the mediator, the objectives for mediation, and that the process is voluntary and confidential. During discussions, participants can be in the same room with the mediator, or they can be in separate rooms with the mediator going back and forth between them. This will depend on the preferences of the participants, the mediator, and other specific circumstances of the case.

In some cases, the issues can be resolved and the process completed in one or two sessions. In other cases, it may take longer, especially if there are more complex issues to address. If the process is successful, the mediator drafts a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) laying out the issues that were agreed upon and describing any issues where the parties were unable to reach agreement. Next, a final settlement is drafted and filed in court based on the terms and conditions of the MOU.

To learn more about the mediation process, contact our office today at 847-749-4337.

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