Ellen Barron Feldman

C.E.L. & Associates, Inc.

180 N.LaSalle St.
Suite 3700
Chicago, Illinois 60601


Child Custody, Conflict, Divorce, Elder, Family, Partnership Disputes, Same Sex Disputes, Trusts and Estates

Ellen Barron Feldman  - Mediator and Attorney


Ellen Barron Feldman graduated from Smith College in 1978,  majoring in government. She received her  law degree from Indiana University School of Law in 1981.  For 15 years, she practiced commercial  litigation in Chicago with two small and one large firm.  In addition to trying cases, arguing motions  and making other appearances before Illinois State and Federal courts, she  volunteered in the schools and her community.   She served on executive boards and a School Advisory Council at several  Wilmette schools, participating in decision making with administrators,  teachers and school board members.

Ellen started volunteering six years ago at The Lilac Tree  in Evanston, a nonprofit organization assisting women through the process of  divorce.  She completed Family and  Divorce Mediation Training through DePaul University Center for Conflict  Resolution in May, 2005 and Advanced Family Mediation in June, 2005.   She has been appointed to the 19th  Judicial Circuit Family Mediation Program list of court-approved mediators for  Lake County, Illinois. She is a member of the Chicago and Lake County Bar Associations and the Association of Women Attorneys of Lake County.


Mediation is the most  efficient and cost-effective method of resolving disputes between parties  undergoing divorce in order to minimize the impact on everyone involved.   The benefits of mediation include  instructing mediating parties to learn to understand and handle their finances  and to practice problem-solving techniques.   The benefits of mediation are far-reaching both for the parties involved  and for the judicial system in general.


Contact Ellen through the CEL office at 866-922-4733 ext. 2 or on her cell at 847-507-3204. She can be emailed at: [email protected]


Memberships and Affiliations

The Lilac Tree

The Chicago Bar Association

19th Judicial Circuit Family Mediation Program

Lake County Bar Association

Exclusive Professional Women's Networking Group

Association of Women Attorneys of Lake County

Does Mediation Work?


Results from Research and  Compiled Data       


People in the process of  trying to decide if mediation will be of assistance to them often ask,  "Does mediation really work?"   In a word: YES. We know from years of  research that, when you compare couples who have mediated their divorce with  couples who go through an adversarial/litigated divorce, mediating couples are  more likely to be satisfied with the process and the results, likely to take less  time and spend less money, and are less likely to go back to court later to  fight about something.        

The main advantage of mediation is that it keeps you and your spouse in total  control of your divorce. That can make all the difference in your recovering  from your divorce and moving on with your life. Mediation allows the two of you  to get through your divorce with less conflict than you would experience in an  adversarial divorce.


Researchers have conducted more than 50 studies since  divorce mediation first appeared more than two decades ago. Current data has  been gathered and conducted to begin drawing clear conclusions about whether  mediation works. The results of this research are very encouraging about the  effectiveness of mediation in the divorce process.


Settlement Rates       


Mediation produces agreement in 50 to 80 percent of cases. This is the case  whether the mediation is court-referred or privately placed, whether mediation  is voluntary or mandatory, and whether the mediating couples had a history of  domestic violence or intense marital conflict.


Overall Client Satisfaction                                                         


Couples who mediate the issues of their divorce are significantly more likely  to be satisfied with the experience of their divorce when compared with couples  who have finished an adversarial divorce. At final divorce, according to one  study, 69 percent of mediation respondents were somewhat to very satisfied,  compared to only 47 percent of adversarial men and women.       

The perceived skill level of the mediator, the creativity of the mediator, the  effectiveness in helping clients deal with anger, the mediator’s success  avoiding imposing his or her viewpoint on the client has a huge impact on the  success of mediation.  Additionally,  mediation can have an extremely positive effect on the spousal relationship,  satisfaction with the property settlement, satisfaction with arrangements  around spousal support, satisfaction with parenting schedules and arrangements,  and understanding children's needs and issues. In most cases, mediating couples  reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction than those that did not  have the opportunity or knowledge of mediation during the separation or divorce  process.


Satisfaction Among  Women       


In general, the difference in the levels of satisfaction with mediation among  men and women is not statistically significant. This is in contrast to  adversarial divorce, where men are significantly more dissatisfied than women  with the process and outcome.       


There has been some discussion of findings that women are disadvantaged in  mediation, but that initial research has been discredited. On the whole, women  in mediation express greater satisfaction with both process and outcomes than  do their litigation counterparts.


Effect on Terms of Agreement       


In general, mediated agreements tend to be more comprehensive than settlements  reached either voluntarily or involuntarily in adversarial court. In general,  mediation results in more joint legal custody compared to adversarial  processes, but not necessarily a different parenting schedule. Researchers have  not noted a statistical difference in the treatment of child support payments,  although mediating fathers are more likely to agree to pay for  "extras" for their children and are more likely to agree to help with  college expenses.


Long-term Mental Health                                                              


Researchers agree that mediation does not seem to have any long-term  statistically significant effect on the psychological adjustment of either  divorcing couples or their children, whether the mediation is custody only or  comprehensive.


Cost in Time and Money       


Mediating couples tend to resolve the issues in their divorce in substantially  less time than that taken by their counterparts in litigation. They also tend  to spend significantly less money. In one study, couples in the adversarial  sample reported spending 134% more (more than twice as much) for their divorces  than those in the mediation sample. Most reports tend to find less dramatic  differences, however, in the 30-40% range.



Compliance and Re-litigation       


Researchers generally report higher rates of compliance with mediated  agreements, when compared to agreements reached in the adversarial process.  This includes parenting schedules, payment of child support and spousal  support, and completing the final division of property. Re-litigation rates are  generally lower among mediated data and are lower than in adversarial data.

222 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 3700
Chicago, Il 60601

Office at 866-922-4733 ext. 2
Cell at  (847) 507-3204
email: [email protected]