In almost all divorce cases in Florida, an agreement that’s reached in mediation will be binding upon the parties. This is true even if the agreement is unfair and even if the agreement is grossly unfair. Parties in mediation are required to have exchanged full and fair disclosure, complete financial affidavits, and in some cases seek the advice of attorneys. Florida is a contract state. A contract that is fulfilled with full financial disclosure with or even without the advice and consent of attorneys is one that’s probably will not be set aside. This is true even if one of the parties does not speak English as a first language and the agreement is in English. There is a responsibility under Florida law for someone signing an agreement to only sign it if they can read and understand it.
At the onset of the divorce process is the financial disclosure process. The more assets and liabilities involved, and the more unique the circumstances of the parties, the longer this process can take. Being proactive about the financial process from the very beginning will save time and stress and it also builds trust between the parties.
Prior to the execution of any settlement agreements in Florida, a financial affidavit must be completed and exchanged between the parties. That means that you cannot sign a final agreement in mediation if the parties have not provided one another with full financial disclosures and completed their financial affidavits.
Contact Deborah Beylus at South Florida Mediation Services if you are facing divorce or a post-divorce issue and wish to mediate. 561 789 0710. www.southfloridamediationservices.com