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How Can I Keep My Illinois Divorce From Going to Trial? 

Posted on in Divorce

Burr Ridge Divorce Mediation AttorneysAmerican tabloids love to cover the sultry details of high-profile divorce trials. Consumers may love to read about other people’s divorces, but for those going through a divorce trial, it can be a nightmare. Long wait times between court dates, hostile disputes with former partners, and the expense of a protracted trial -- to say nothing of the public exposure -- are all strong incentives to avoid the trial process altogether. 

Fortunately, Illinois courts encourage divorcing couples to do exactly that. Using mediation, collaborative divorce, or a similar alternative dispute resolution process, even the most high conflict spouses can usually prevent divorce litigation. Although certain issues must be approved by a court before a divorce can be finalized, couples can spare themselves from the stress and expense of a lengthy divorce trial by working towards a mutually agreeable compromise using alternative dispute resolution. 


Mediation is a popular method that is often mandated by Illinois divorce courts before a case can go to trial. The reason is simple: Mediation is really quite effective. Mediators are usually attorneys and are always trained in conflict resolution. They help spouses work out their differences by minimizing conflict and helping everyone stay focused on the relevant issues. 

Spouses can bring their own attorneys to the mediation process, but they do not have to. The mediator does not represent either spouse, but rather works as an impartial third party to work towards settlement terms that everybody can agree to. Spouses usually share the cost of a mediator. 

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation with some important differences. The first and most important difference is that, rather than hiring a third-party mediator, each spouse hires their own attorney and the attorneys work together collaboratively with the spouses. Other neutral professionals, including child psychologists and asset valuators, can attend meetings with the spouses and their attorneys to help them achieve resolution on important issues. 

Everybody has an incentive to work collaboratively because if the attempt at resolution fails, the process is dissolved and each spouse has to find a new attorney and start over again. Unfortunately, for spouses who cannot reach an agreement, this can put a significant additional expense on top of whatever procedure comes next. 

Resolving Issues On Your Own 

Spouses who are particularly amicable and do not have complex issues to resolve may be able to work out an agreement without the help of outside experts. However, any agreement should be formalized by a divorce attorney and presented to a court for final approval. Although resolving issues without the help of outside experts may seem appealing for financial and privacy reasons, this method is often simply not possible for spouses with a high net worth or complex assets.

Speak with a Cook County Divorce Attorney

Reaching a settlement is not easy, but it can save divorcing couples time, money, and stress they would otherwise experience in a trial. No matter which process you decide is best for you, at Botti Marinaccio, LTD., we can help you achieve an acceptable compromise on important issues. Schedule a consultation with an experienced Oak Brook divorce lawyer. Call us today at 630-575-8585




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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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