Year started: 1994
Neutrals: Those with law degree or advanced degree in behavioral science, and with approval of the court.
Eligibility: All cases involving child custody, visitation or removal disputes.
Free Mediation Services Available?: No
The 16th Judicial Circuit Court's Family Mediation Program, governed by Local Rule 15.18, provides mediation services for all cases involving a contested issue of child custody, visitation or removal.
Mediations are held by court-approved mediators, who must meet certain requirements outlined by the rule. These include the possession of a law degree, or an advanced degree in a subject related to marriage, family or interpersonal relationships. They must have at least two years of experience in their profession or disciplines, be members in good standing of the professional organizations for their respective disciplines, and maintain an office in the county where the court is located. Mediators must also complete a 40-hour divorce mediation training program, as well as six hours of continuing legal education courses related to family law or mediation every two years.
Parties are allowed to choose a mediator from a roster maintained by the court. Mediators may charge an hourly fee no more than $175, and may also request an advance deposit of $350 to cover the costs of services provided outside of the mediation sessions. Parties divide these costs equally among themselves, unless the court orders otherwise. For low-income cases, mediators are required to offer their services at a reduced fee.
Before mediation begins, the rule directs the mediator to screen the case for impediments that may affect the ability of one or both parties to participate in mediation. Impediments include domestic violence or intimidation, substance abuse, or mental illness.
Both parties are required to attend each mediation session and participate in good faith. Attorneys may only attend upon agreement of the parties and the mediator. If a party does not attend a mediation session, the court may impose sanctions for mediator and attorney fees against that party.
The mediator must submit a report to the court on or before the Mediation Status Date, set for 60 days after the initial mediation order. The report should include the terms of any agreement reached, or, if no agreement has been reached, the issues that remain unresolved. The mediator may also recommend more mediation sessions if they are likely to lead to an agreement, and the court may extend the mediation process beyond the status date at its discretion.
The rule also outlines confidentiality requirements for information exchanged during mediation. With few exceptions, mediators and parties may not disclose any written or oral communication made during mediation.
Jan. 1, 2019
Resource Type: Rules - Court
Abstract: The local rules for Illinois' 16th Judicial Circuit serving Kane County.
Article 5 - Mandatory Residential Foreclosure Mediation Program: All residential foreclosure cases in Kane County are subject to mediation. The rules outline mediation procedu...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 ...
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