Illinois Supreme Court supports mediation for child relocation matters
Illinois now supports the use of mediation services for child custody relocation cases.
August 23, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Illinois Supreme Court supports mediation for child relocation matters
Article provided by Bush & Heise Attorneys at Law
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In July 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled to expand mediation services to include child custody matters involving a parent's request to relocate a child to another state.
According to Supreme Court Rule 905, the inclusion of mediation programs for child custody and child visitation matters is a requirement for every judicial circuit in Illinois. However, the rule is now elaborated to include relocation cases, too.
To help ensure that all child custody matters are handled in the best interests of a particular child, the Supreme Court created these rules in 2006 to help guarantee that custody proceedings are handled competently and in an expedited fashion. For example, judges must render a decision no later than 60 days after the completion of trial. Mediation helps expedite a resolution for these matters.
In line with the policies, the Supreme Court also added a new section to Rule 905, which requires all circuits to file a report four times a year with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. The report should detail the number of child custody, child visitation and removal cases that have been sent to mediation. It should also document the outcome of each referral, tally the number of cases that have been referred on a pro bono basis and note the percentage of matters where parties expressed sentiments about the process (for example, dissatisfaction or appreciation).
All data gathered about the process will remain in confidence; however, such information will be used for statistical and administrative purposes. The goal is to review the mediation technique for such matters, as a whole.
Mediation is a resolution process, which helps disputants settle matters in a more collaborate way. Mediation is different from an adversarial process. The technique allows disputants to find a resolution own their own terms. The point is to find a resolution that meets the needs and interests of all parties. The process is facilitated by a neutral mediator; however, this person does not order a decision in favor of a particular party. Instead, the mediator helps generate communication and assists with clarifying issues. There is no "winner" or "loser" in this joint process.
Mediation can be particularly helpful for family law matters. As litigants learn to discuss and resolve issues, they will place themselves in a good position for future dealings. For example, many custody or visitation resolutions require persistent communication among parties (for example, to help coordinate a child's schedule on a weekly basis). Mediation can help set the tone for this process.
Furthermore, parties may have the assistance of a professional by their side. A lawyer can help a particular party understand the legal repercussions of a decision. In addition to incorporating a legal professional into this process, mediation is enforceable and less costly than traditional litigation.
This form of alternative dispute resolution may not be able to resolve all pending legal issues; however, it can be extremely helpful for families trying to move forward. To learn more about the new rules from the Illinois Supreme Court or to find out about mediation, contact an experienced family law attorney.
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