While mediation participants are entitled to bring a lawyer with them, sometimes it makes more sense for the parties not to, such as is often the case in South Florida children and divorce cases. South Florida children and divorce cases can be highly emotional in nature, and sometimes lawyers may be too concentrated on their client’s legal interests to be able to see a more effective alternative that can better serve all of the parties’ interests, including the children’s interests.
Many times, both parents believe that they are both good parents and want to have equal portions of time with their children. After all, just because the marriage didn’t work out does not mean that the other party is a bad parent. If the parties can agree on custody decisions, this can lay an important groundwork for the rest of the mediation process.
A mediator plays a much different role than a family law attorney. He or she is completely objective, unlike a lawyer who is paid to represent his or her client’s interests only. A mediator does not take sides, but he or she does point out potential weaknesses in the parties’ positions in order to provide an objective opinion on how the court may rule. However, mediators also attentively listen and use interpersonal skills to truly communicate with the parties, both jointly and individually. By evaluating each case on its own merits, a mediator can point out potential legal issues or weaknesses.
The parties can then take this information to understand that going to court may not bring about the result they want. They can then take the time necessary to cooperate on the remaining issues involved in their divorce, such as making decisions regarding spousal support and child support.