What Is Mediation? Who Is It Best Suited For?
Mediation is a process where both parties and a neutral person will work together to settle issues. In Florida, mediation is mandatory for everyone going through a divorce case before they have an opportunity to get their issues resolved by a judge. Generally, all of the discovery has been exchanged and both parties have a position on what they want and what they don’t want. You will go to mediation with your attorney. The other party will be there with their attorney. Everything that happens at mediation is confidential and rejected offers cannot be brought up in court later. Mediation is a very effective tool and more than 95% of cases settle before they have a trial with a judge.
What Happens In Mediation?
In mediation, we will discuss all the main issues that affect your divorce case and negotiate back and forth, until we find a solution that both parties can live with on each issue. We will start with what is the main issue of concern for most couples- your parenting plan. Once we have an agreement on parenting time and related concerns, we move on to the issues of money: assets and liabilities, spousal support, and child support. Finally, we will tackle any other issue that needs to be agreed upon in order for you and your spouse to peacefully part ways.
If We Are Not Married, Is There Any Paperwork We Need?
If you are an unmarried couple with children, you will still need documentation pertaining to creating your parenting plan and the child support guidelines.
How Long Does Mediation Take?
The length of time that mediation takes varies based on how many issues need to be mediated, how many children, assets, and liabilities the couple has in common, and how cooperative each of the parties are. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on all the issues in one mediation session, you may need to be scheduled for a second session.
Is An Attorney Required For Mediation?
An attorney is not required for the mediation process. It is important to note, however, that the mediators who will be present cannot offer any kind of legal advice to either party. They must remain absolutely neutral. If you choose not to be represented at mediation, it is recommended that you do have an attorney review any final agreements or other documents before you sign them.
Will We Have To Be In The Same Room To Mediate?
Mediation is very much a customizable process. If you and your spouse are agreeable and cooperative, we can conduct mediation together, in the same room, as a team. If you and your spouse are combative or just can no longer work together, mediation can be performed by the mediators going back and forth to speak with both of you in separate rooms.
Is Mediation Confidential?
Mediation is completely confidential and is not part of public record in any way.
How Much Does It Cost To Mediate?
Please contact our office for a detailed estimate of what the mediation process may cost for you and your specific case.
What Will Happen After Mediation?
After mediation concludes successfully, we will draw up parenting plan and marital settlement agreements. We will recommend that you have these agreements reviewed by an attorney before you finalize them with your signature. Once you have reviewed the agreements and had the opportunity to have them reviewed by an attorney, they will be signed. At that point, we will direct you on how to properly file your agreements with the family court.
How Can I Persuade My Ex To Opt For Mediation In A Divorce Case?
Mediation is much less expensive than having a full-blown trial with a judge. The more fighting that happens, the smaller the marital estate will become.
When Can We Start Mediation?
Normally, as soon as both sides feel comfortable with the information that they have about the other side, they have enough knowledge to enter into mediation negotiations.
How Many Meetings Does It Generally Take to Go Through The Divorce Process?
I meet with a client, initially, and explain to them the entire divorce process. I tell them what I’m going to need from them. In Florida, there’s a list of documents, called mandatory disclosure, which both sides must exchange. You meet initially, you prepare for mediation, and beyond that, most of the work is done either by the lawyers or by the clients on their own.
What Exactly Does The Mediator Do During This Whole Process?
It is the mediator’s job to get to know each side’s position and then to try and move the sides towards a settlement that they can both live with. At the end of the mediation, neither side should feel like they had some huge victory. The best mediation is one where both parties walk out feeling like they lost a little. That means that the mediation agreement was probably fair because each side had to give in a bit.
For more information on Mediation In A Divorce Case In Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (954) 928-9995 today.
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