Whether you are in basic agreement or not, the family law mediation process can assist you in reaching a settlement of your Florida divorce or custody case.Divorce is a major life transition that has effects on every aspect of your life. However you do not have to be destroyed by divorce. The same goes for child custody disputes – timesharing, school issues, activities – these issues can be mediated. In fact, Florida the law requires mediation.
After divorce, you will both be starting a new phase of your life. Whether you have children or not, this new phase can begin with a collaborative way to reach agreement in your divorce case. The philosophy of mediation is in direct contrast to hard-ball litigation tactics used by many family lawyers. Family law mediation has been called a win-win process.
The family law mediation process allows you a forum for communicating with your spouse and solving the issues over which you disagree. As a neutral third party mediator, I assist you both in working out the details and reaching agreement in your divorce, cohabitation or modification family law case.
Why use a family law mediator?
- Typically cost is approximately 10% of litigation cost
- Required in the State of Florida
- Confidential and private
- Customized services based on your situation
As your mediator, I work with you to generate and explore the available options and to get the information you need to make good decisions so that you can reach an agreement and keep ultimate control over your own future.
Family law mediation is the sensible and sane way to settle your divorce case at a reasonable cost.
Family law mediation services are offered for
- Initial divorce cases
- Parenting Plans
- Cohabitation agreements
- Post-nuptial agreements
- Modification/Post-Final Judgment cases
Divorce mediation and Parenting Plan mediation are ways to resolve your family law dispute without a judge. You keep full control of the outcome. Only the people involved in the dispute make the final decision, unlike litigation where a judge makes the final decision.
Family law mediation typically takes between 2 and six hours to complete. It can be scheduled over several sessions, especially if one of you requires more information or needs time to process information. From start to finish, the mediation process is far more efficient than the court process, which can drag on for a year or more before your divorce case gets to trial.
Six Steps of Family Law Mediation
Step One: I meet with both of you to go over the principles of family law mediation and my role as impartial facilitator. We discuss the ground rules for the mediation session and I answer any questions either of you has about mediation. During the actual mediation session, I may meet with each party separately. This separate meeting is referred to as a caucus.
Step Two: Each of you will share what brought you to the family law mediation table – what you are looking to achieve and what the current situation is. This is your opportunity to tell your story without interruption. If you go straight to court, you may never have the chance to tell your side of the story.
Step Three: We will identify the issues that need to be decided and outline the important considerations you have pointed out in Step Two.
Step Four: Together we will explore the options you each feel will resolve each of the identified issues. This is a brainstorming session – propose ideas and solutions to get all possible options on the table. This is exploration, you do not have to agree with all the options that are generated here.
Step Five: This is where you start evaluating the options generated in Step Four. We will put these ideas and possible solutions into proposals once they have been evaluated.
Step Six: This step is the process of writing up the options you selected and putting them into a written divorce settlement agreement which will be presented to the court for approval in your family law case.
If you would like to explore the family law mediation process, give me a call.