Year started: 1998
Neutrals: Those with law degree or advanced degree in a field that deals substantially with marriage, family or interpersonal relationship, who maintain an office in DuPage County.
Eligibility: All cases involving contested issues of child custody, visitation and removal.
Free Mediation Services Available?: No
The 18th Judicial Circuit Family Mediation Program was established in March 1998. The program is governed by Local Rule 15.15 and Illinois Supreme Court Rule 99. The program provides mediation services for all cases involving contested issues of child custody, visitation and removal.
The rule requires presiding judges to refer eligible cases to mediation, unless an impediment exists that would limit the parties' ability to participate in the process. Potential impediments may include situations of domestic violence or intimidation, substance abuse, or mental illness. Mediators are also responsible for screening for such impediments again after a court referral has been made.
When a case is sent to mediation, the parties are given the option of choosing a mediator from a list of court-approved mediators. To obtain court approval, mediators must possess a law degree, or an advanced degree in a field that deals substantially with marriage, family or interpersonal relationships, and maintain an office in DuPage County. Mediators must also complete a court-approved divorce mediation training program, as well as other training programs that may be required by the court. In addition, mediators must provide evidence of malpractice insurance in an amount set by the presiding judge.
Parties are responsible for paying mediation fees, at a rate set by the Chief Judge, the Presiding Judge and the Acting Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. Each mediation order will specify the percentage of the mediation fee that will be paid by each party, or whether the case has been designated a pro bono or reduced fee case. Court-approved mediators must agree to mediate at least four pro bono cases a year.
The mediation process should conclude before the 45-day status date, set at the time of the court referral. Parties are required to attend each mediation session; others may only attend if so ordered by the court. Mediation may last up to three hours, unless otherwise agreed by the parties and the mediator. If a party does not attend a session, the court may impose sanctions for mediator and attorney fees.
The mediator must submit a report to the parties and their attorneys within 10 days of the conclusion of mediation. If unresolved issues remain, the court may not order an investigation or examination of these issues without good cause. All information exchanged during the mediation will remain confidential, except as otherwise provided by law.
Illinois 18th Judicial Circuit. Jan. 1, 2019
Resource Type: Rules - Court
Abstract: The local rules for Illinois' 18th Judicial Circuit serving DuPage county.
Article 13 - Mandatory Arbitration: Under this rule, all eligible cases valued between $10,000 and the monetary limit authorized by the Illinois Supreme Court must be referr...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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