Mediation is an informal process in which the parties resolve their own disputes without a judge imposing a solution upon them. Unlike a trial or arbitration, mediation gives the parties the opportunity to speak to each other in an informal setting that is guided by a neutral and impartial third person called a mediator. The mediator’s role is to help the parties communicate their positions to each other in a constructive manner so they can craft their own solutions.
Mediation may be voluntary or court ordered. Most family courts, and some civil courts in Florida require mediation before the case is scheduled on the court’s calendar or goes to final judgment, even if you are represented by an attorney. If you are represented, your attorney will arrange for mediation in your case, and if you are not represented, you may arrange for mediation directly with me. Parties can voluntarily agree to go to mediation prior to filing their case or anytime during the court process.
When we think about divorce and other family issues, we focus on the classic issues of marital property, support, and parenting.
In mediation, we focus on empowering the couple to address and resolve the issues that are before the court. If the couple agrees with such resolution, I write the Mediated Marital Settlement Agreement that addresses the Parenting Plan if there are children, the distribution of property, alimony and child support (if applicable). These agreements become the blueprints for the future.
Divorce or Family mediation typically requires two (sometimes three) sessions. The complexity of the issues will ultimately determine the actual number of sessions. Each session is usually scheduled for three hours, with a two hour minimum, and mediation sessions are informal, relaxed, safe, and confidential.
Most importantly, mediation is a faster process than a traditional court case, saving time and money so household resources can remain with the families, as well as being less stressful on the parties and their children.
- Mediation is confidential (remains out of the public eye)
- Mediation is easier to schedule (not dependent on the court’s calendar)
- Mediation produces a faster result
- Mediation makes more productive use of family resources
- Mediation can preserve ongoing relationships
- Mediation allows the parties to vent and tell their stories
- Mediation allows those in dispute to make their own decisions, rather than being left to the courts to decide
As your mediator:
- I will never want a retainer
- I will never encourage you to fight with your spouse
- I will never increase conflict between you and your spouse
- I will always protect the interests of your children
- I will provide a forum where you and your spouse can figure a way to create a new life for yourselves in your new status as divorced parents
Highlights of the Advantages: