Mediation Expansion Comes to the Family Law Courtrooms

January 2015
Brian Ebener



Have you ever considered the benefits of mediation in a divorce case? Recent rule changes now allow for increased use of this option in litigated family law matters. Given the fact that the divorce rate in the United States has hovered around 50% for many years now, chances are that someone you know either has gone through a divorce or will be going through a divorce sometime in their lifetime. As such, it may be pertinent to keep in mind a recent change made in the local rules for the Cook County Domestic Relations Division.

In March of 2014, Cook County Circuit Court Rule 13.4(e) went into effect. Although the Cook County Domestic Relations Division has long utilized mediation, this option was generally limited to the issues of custody and visitation relative to minor children. The significance of the adoption of Rule 13.4(e) is that couples now going through a divorce with grown children, wherein the disputed issues are completely financial in nature, can now also avail themselves of the potential benefits offered by mediation.

As Cook County has now expanded the scope of mediation in its domestic relations division courtrooms, it is likely that the collar counties will eventually do the same. As such, this option is something to keep in mind regarding anyone you know who may be encountering such a situation anywhere in the metropolitan Chicago area.