Divorce mediation is used to help resolve family law matters in a timely manner with a neutral third party overseeing the interactions, often without the need for formal court appearances. Having an attorney who can guide you through mediation can give you an understanding of the process and what results you may expect from mediation.
Divorce in Florida, for example, requires mediation to promote a smooth division of marital assets and to ensure the well being of any children involved. Child custody can be determined with mediation and will help the parents create a parenting plan.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a structured process with a professional third party, a mediator, to help assist in resolving the conflicts between disputing parties. Mediation is commonly utilized during a divorce and to resolve child custody challenges, but is also used in civil cases related to businesses, landlord-tenant conflicts and small claims. This process uses negotiation techniques and communication to solve any conflicts or issues
Divorce mediation is sometimes required by state statute or in a prenuptial agreement. Parties can voluntarily choose to participate in mediation if they believe they can reach an agreement without going to court. Settling the dispute in mediation can save time and expenses instead of attending a trial. If not everything can be agreed upon by both parties in mediation, attending a court trial will be required.
With divorce in Florida, mediation is required to have a smooth transition with marital assets and to ensure the well-being of any children involved.
What to expect from divorce mediation:
A divorce mediation is designed to be a less formal meeting to resolve issues before escalating the problem to the state of Florida courts. Instead, everyone will be sitting around a table or office space and it will be facilitated by a trained third party professional. These are the procedures you can expect in a mediation:
- Mediator’s introductory remarks
- Parties’ opening statements
- Informative joint discussion
- Identifying the problem in a private caucus
- Negotiation between parties
- Reaching an agreement and conclusion
The mediator will start with outlining the mediation process to both parties and explain how the rules work for the discussion. Each mediator can have their own rules, but the goal is to provide a good groundwork for communication. Common guidelines include:
- Taking turns speaking and not interrupting
- Agree to not blame or attack each other
- Listen respectfully
- Understand each person is entitled to their own opinion
- Request a break when needed
Then both sides will give a statement. The mediator may ask for clarification, but the parties do not usually question each other directly. Each side presents their view on the case and the mediator will meet with each person in a caucus to attempt to find a settlement.