Mediation is a unique process, but all it boils down to is negotiation with a impartial party to help the parties to the conflict agree. The most important thing in Mediation is are the parties willing to really participate in the process. The second most important component is who is the mediator.
Regardless of whether you mediate in Chicago or Dupage, and regardless of the issue: prenuptial agreement, divorce, custody, support, property division, you need someone that is trained, knowledgeable and will be responsive.
The mediator cannot make you wait for weeks for a session if you are both willing to mediate now, and if you're mediating over e-mail or Skype, the mediator cannot wait for 3 days to respond.
Of course, the response must be informative and for that, the mediator must be informed as to the the issues. He or she must listen to learn the facts, but he or she should also know how previous cases like yours have been decided by the courts. It does not mean that the mediator needs to use this knowledge to brow beat a party that is "barking up the wrong tree", but if one of the parties takes a position that is countervailing to all legal standards, knowing those standards is certainly helpful.
The use of knowledge and the tenor of the response and intervention during a mediation session needs to be informed by training. A mediator should have forma training in negotiation and mediation, specifically having completed a mediation course. The skills learned have to be honed, so that the mediator knows how to deal with different people in varying states of mind. Some people need to be drawn out, and others listened to more. This comes with time, so part of training is of course, age and personal experience. Practice is important too, and it is best to have a mediator that he mediated conflicts, as negotiated and litigated them, whether at the Daley Center or DuPage County Courthouse or Kane County Court Complex.
I work to accommodate your particular situation, in large measure because I believe that mediation can work for you, and at the very least, you should try mediating. Please note that while I can answer general questions about the process, I cannot discuss case facts with only one of the parties, without the other party being present. Please use the contact form to the left, or, have each party complete my Mediation Questionnaire here .