Year started: 2007
Neutrals: Individuals with law degree or advanced degree in behavioral science, and with approval of the court
Eligibility: All cases involving contested child custody and visitation disputes
Free Mediation Services Available?: No
The 10th Circuit mediation program for domestic relations cases, governed by Administrative Order 2006-10, was established January 1, 2007. It is governed by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 99 and Local Rules Part 2 and 3.
The court refers all cases involving contested custody and visitation matters to a Case Management Conference (CMC). At the CMC, the judge determines whether there is an impediment to mediation, such as domestic violence, cognitive impairment, or substance abuse; clarifies the issues to be mediated; and orders eligible cases to mediation. The mediator is also required to assess whether impediments affecting the parties' ability to mediate safely, competently and in good faith exist. A party may motion the court to be excused from mediation with the support of an affidavit that contains facts stating why mediation would be inappropriate.
Mediators are selected from the list of court-approved mediators, which includes their qualifications and fees for mediation, by agreement of the parties. If the parties cannot agree on a mediator, the court will assign one. The 10th Circuit family mediation roster currently includes 57 mediators.
To be approved, applicants must be certified by Bradley University in Peoria, IL, after completing the mediation education course offered by Bradley. It is possible to apply without having completed the Bradley training by submitting one's qualifications to the Mediation Board of Bradley University with a $50.00 administrative fee; the Mediation Board makes recommendations to the Chief Judge, who makes the final decision on who is listed on the roster. Additionally, applicants must have obtained a graduate degree in a field of study that includes law or the behavioral sciences, or a related field or other degree program of which the Chief Judge approves, as well as have completed a court-approved family mediation training of at least 40 hours. Court-approved family mediators must also: maintain their license in full force and effect if they are engaged in a licensed discipline, agree to mediate at least one indigency case per year and one sliding scale case, provide proof of professional liability insurance annually to the Chief Judge, and complete ten hours of court approved continuing education every two years. Retired Illinois judges who have served in a family court are qualified to submit his or her name to the Chief Judge.
Depending on scheduling, both parties are required to attend a parent education program prior to the mediation or as soon after starting mediation, as well as attend the mediation for a minimum of three hours. Mediations may go beyond three hours if the court determines that further time should be spent on trying to resolve the case or if the parties agree to extend the mediation. It is not common in the 10th Circuit for there to be more than one mediation session. The program is administratively funded by the counties and the parties are expected to pay the mediator at the rate agreed upon by the parties and the mediator unless the case is determined to be a pro bono or sliding scale fee case, which is determined by the court. Within ten days of the last mediation session, the mediator is required to report to the court what happened in the mediation.
Illinois 10th Judicial Circuit. Apr. 8, 2013
Resource Type: Rules - Court
Abstract: The local rules for Illinois' 10th Judicial Circuit serving Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, and Tazewell counties.
Part 2 - Case Management: Covers case management conferencing in domestic relation court, pleading designation and duties of circuit...Illinois Supreme Court. Article I - Illinois Supreme Court General Rules, Oct. 10, 2001
Resource Type: Rules - Court
Abstract: This rule authorizes judicial circuits to undertake mediation programs. Circuits electing to establish mediation program are directed to adopt rules for the conduct of mediation proceedings and to submit them to the Supreme Court. The Rule specifies ...
Rena K. ParkerCourt Administrator
Tenth Judicial Circuit
342 Main Street, Room 215
Peoria, Illinois 61602