Chicago, IL (PressExposure) August 23, 2014 -- Michael C. Craven, a well-known divorce lawyer in Chicago and partner at Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP, has become a court-certified mediator in Cook County.
Mediation is an alternative method of resolving a divorce case where the divorcing couple hires a neutral person known as a mediator to help work out all or specific issues of a divorce settlement. Although the mediator does not side with either party, a mediator can guide couples to mutually beneficial agreements.
"Although I recognize that there will always be cases that need to go through the court system and the adversarial process, providing alternatives to families that offer the possibility of a resolution that is more needs and solutions-based is a positive step," Craven said. "I am excited about being a mediator and I look forward to it."
Starting this year, Cook County judges in the Domestic Relations Division may mandate that people go to mediation for financial disputes such as determining child support, maintenance (formerly known as alimony), property division and more. Previously, judges only had the authority to send people to mediation for child-related issues such as custody and parenting schedules. In Illinois, anyone can act as a mediator. However, some of the best divorce lawyers in Chicago go through an extensive approval process to become a mediator. The requirements to becoming a court certified mediator in the Cook County Domestic Relations Division are more stringent. The Division's requirements include submission of a written application that is reviewed and approved by Cook County's Domestic Relations' Division Mediator Screening Committee and completion of a minimum of 40 hours of approved mediation training. After Craven's application was approved, he is now a court-certified mediator for both child-related and financial disputes.
"My big-picture goal as a mediator is the same as it is as an attorney," Craven said. "As an attorney, I work with my clients to help them make smart decisions. As a mediator, I intend to help both parties do the same, albeit in a different role."
Throughout Craven's 30 plus years of experience as a Chicago attorney, he has become a distinguished leader amongst divorce attorneys in Chicago. Craven's dedication to family law has been recognized over the years. He is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has held leadership positions with the Illinois State Bar Association and North Suburban Bar Association. Additionally, each year since 2009, Craven has been selected as a Leading Lawyer and Illinois Super Lawyer, representing "the top five percent of practicing attorneys in Illinois".