Year started: 2019
Neutrals: This program operates through an ODR platform. However, if a mediator is required to be appointed to the case the mediator must possess either a JD or an advanced degree in a field that includes the study of psychology, social work or other behavior sience. All mediators are also required to complete a specialized training course in family mediation which must consist of at least 40 hours of training.
Eligibility: Mandatory child custody mediation program in marital dissolution cases and, specifically, for self-represented (SRL) and indigent parents.
Free Mediation Services Available?: Yes
The 10th Circuit Online Dispute Resolution Program in Domestic Relations Cases is governed by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 99, Administrative Order 2019-11 and was established October 15, 2019.
The online dispute resolution (ODR) program is a mandatory part of the mandatory child custody mediation program in marital dissolution cases and is specifically for self-represented litigants and indigent parents. The ODR program may also be offered to any other Domestic Relation cases that requires a parenting plan and that the presiding judge has deemed to be appropriate.
At the first appearance date the court will determine if the case is eligible for the madatory ODR program and enter an Order that directs the parties to register and begin the ODR process. The case is then set for review within 30 days. The court clerk is responsible for requesting and confirming the parties email addresses and providing an informational guide to ODR and a copy of Administrative Oder 2019-11. When the clerk enters the Order requiring the parties to begin oder into Odyssey (the court's case nmanagement system) this will initate a notification process and an email will be sent to the parties requesting them to register for the ODR program. The Petitioner will have 7 days to register and begin the process. Should the Petitioner fail to register for the program within 3 days, a reminder email will be sent automatically.
There are 8 sections that the ODR program will walk the Petitioner through in the process of creating a parenting plan. These sections include decision making, parenting time, holidays, school breaks, vacation, transportation, financial support, and any additional terms that may be needed. Each section provides Petitioners and Respondents with a defintion of the options available based on the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The platform also provides examples written in plain language that the parties can use to assist them when creating their own parenting plan. After the Petitioner completes a proposed plan, they will review and submit the proposed plan on the platform. An email will then be sent to the Respondent who will have 7 days to respond. The parties will continue the negotiation process in this way until either a full or partial agreement is reached and e-filed to the court.
If the parties are unable to reach a full agreement within 30 days, they will appear at their schedule review date and the judge will determine if they should continue negotiating via the platform or if a mediator should be appointed. The case will then be set for review in 45 days. If a mediator is appointed the ODR platform will email the parties notifying them the name of hte mediator and inviting them to begin discussions via the ODR platform with the mediator to assist them in reaching a full agreement. All communications will be conducted via the ODR platform unless the parties request an in-person mediation.
In the event the parties are unable to reach an agremeent or one or both parties do not continue to participate in the ODR process, the mediator will then submit a report to the court requesting that the mediation be terminated. The parties will then be required to appear at their next scheduled review date. If the parties are able to reach an agreement then the mediator will file the written parenting plan with the court.
All mediators for the program are required to comply with the 10th Circuit Rules 47-53. To be an approved mediator, a person must possess a JD or an advanced degree in a field that includes the study of psychology, social work or other behavior sience. All mediators are also required to complete a specialized training course in family mediation which must consist of at least 40 hours of training that addresses conflict resolution, psychology issues in separation and family dynamics, issues and needs of children, mediation process, skills and techniques to screen for and address domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, and mental illness. Mediators must also secure and maintain professional liability insurance which covers the mediation process.
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 ...