Illinois Child Centered Mediation


Child Centered Mediation

Child Centered Mediation is a completely confidential and voluntary process designed to provide clarity for the family as a whole and to help parents better understand how their child or children are experiencing divorce or separation. This process provides education and information to parents to protect their children during this difficult time and to set the child up for success post separation. It can greatly shield the child from the negative effects of any parental conflict while also showing the child the parents can work and problem solve together – this is extremely important during times of crises or trauma. 

Child Centered Mediation Quick Links

Introduction to Child Centered Mediation

Child-Centered Mediation—a groundbreaking service that places the needs and well-being of children at the forefront of the divorce or separation process. Unlike traditional mediation, which primarily focuses on the legal and financial aspects, child-centered mediation recognizes the unique challenges families face when navigating these transitions.

In child-centered mediation, the primary goal is to create an environment where co-parents collaboratively make decisions that prioritize the best interests of their children. This approach involves facilitated discussions, child interviews, and the development of parenting plans tailored to meet the specific needs of the family. By emphasizing open communication, conflict resolution, and the child's perspective, child-centered mediation fosters a cooperative co-parenting relationship that is crucial for the healthy development of children.

Our Approach to Child Centered Mediation

Services Offered for Child Centered Mediation

Child-centered mediation involves a range of services designed to prioritize the well-being and needs of children during family conflicts, particularly in situations like divorce or separation. The specific services may vary, but common components include:

  1. Mediation Sessions: Facilitated by a trained mediator, these sessions bring parents together to discuss and negotiate various aspects of their separation or divorce, with a specific focus on the needs and interests of the children involved.

  2. Child Interviews: Mediators may conduct one-on-one interviews with the children involved to gain insights into their feelings, preferences, and concerns. This information helps inform decisions related to custody, visitation, and other arrangements.

  3. Parenting Plans: Collaboratively developing a detailed parenting plan that outlines how parenting responsibilities, time-sharing, and decision-making will be divided between the parents. The plan is tailored to meet the unique needs and schedules of the family.

  4. Communication Strategies: Mediators often assist parents in developing effective communication strategies to enhance their ability to co-parent successfully. This may include guidelines for respectful and constructive communication, especially in front of or with the children.

  5. Conflict Resolution Techniques: Providing tools and techniques for resolving conflicts amicably and preventing disputes from negatively affecting the children. This may include teaching effective negotiation and problem-solving skills.

  6. Education and Resources: Offering educational resources and information to parents about the impact of divorce or separation on children, child development, and strategies for supporting children through the process.

  7. Legal Guidance: While child-centered mediation is not a substitute for legal advice, mediators may provide general information about legal aspects related to child custody, visitation, and other relevant family law issues.

  8. Follow-Up Support: Some child-centered mediation services may include follow-up support to assess the effectiveness of the parenting plan, address emerging issues, and make adjustments as needed.

Child-centered mediation services aim to create a supportive and child-focused environment, fostering cooperation between parents for the well-being of their children. The goal is to empower parents to make informed decisions that prioritize the best interests of the children involved.

FAQ's for Child Centered Mediation

How Does Child-Centered Mediation Benefit My Child?

Parents often want to understand how child-centered mediation differs from traditional mediation and how it directly benefits their child. They may inquire about the specific strategies and approaches used to ensure the child's well-being is prioritized throughout the process.

What Role Will My Child Play in the Mediation Process?

Parents are typically curious about the level of involvement their child will have in the mediation proceedings. They may ask about the methods used to consider the child's opinions, preferences, and emotions, and how these factors are taken into account when making decisions about custody, visitation, and other matters.

How Can Child-Centered Mediation Improve Co-Parenting Communication?

Communication between co-parents is crucial for the well-being of the child. Parents often inquire about how child-centered mediation can enhance communication and cooperation between them. They may seek information on strategies for resolving conflicts, creating effective parenting plans, and fostering a positive co-parenting relationship.

What happens in Child-Centered Mediation?

This mediation process often includes 2 professionals: our mediator and a child specialist. Together, the mediator and the child specialist work with the family to focus on a child's developmental and emotional needs while considering any significant decision as it relates to custody, visitation, and parenting plan.

Neither the mediator nor the child specialist has decision making authority, but they provide experienced recommendations for the parents to consider and decide if the recommendations are appropriate for their family and situation. Therefore, the parents remain in control of the outcomes, but they receive expert assistance and guidance throughout the process.

It's important to note that each family's situation is unique, and questions may vary based on individual circumstances. Child-centered mediation professionals are equipped to address the specific concerns and needs of parents, fostering an environment that supports the best interests of the child.

Fee Packages for Child Centered Mediation

How Do I Start Child Centered Mediation?

The Child Centered Mediation Process starts with a mediation orientation, individual and joint meetings between professionals and the parents, individual meetings between the child/ren and the child specialist, and a overview meeting to review any child centered agreements and solutions. Feel free to contact us with any questions 630-891-2478 and feel free to set a free joint orientation call with Erin, here.

Our Attorneys

  • Erin Birt

    Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on pa...

  • Tyler Birt

    Since 2007, Tyler Birt has been a legal assistant and bookkeeper fo...

  • Karen Hansel

    As Administrative Assistant at Birt Law, Karen’s involvement in dai...



Family Centered Divorce ∙ Mediation ∙ Co-Parenting

Birt Family Law is the family centered law and mediation practice with a focus on Restorative Divorce; offering creative and supportive legal and mediation solutions with one goal: keeping the separating family out of court and working together towards a positive resolution.

We offer multiple options to achieve this goal including mediation, coaching, co-parenting strategies, and Restorative Divorce services. 

Are we the right fit for you?

Birt Family Law is committed to keeping the separating family out of court and working together towards a positive resolution.