What is mediation and is it required in divorce case
Posted in Florida Family Law on March 2, 2022
If you have decided to start the divorce process, you may automatically feel overwhelmed by thoughts of fighting in court and stress associated with a lengthy proceeding. Despite what you may have heard from others, divorce does not need to be lengthy or as stressful and difficult as is often thought. At our firm, we are dedicated to minimizing the difficulty of the divorce process. One way to improve the lives of divorcing couples is through mediation.
Mediators, like judges, are neutral. They do not represent one spouse or the other. They can be attorneys, financial advisers, or other qualified individuals that help spouses work collaboratively to settle outstanding issues rather than fight about them in court. Mediators can meet with each spouse individually or together, and all conversations are confidential, even from courts. Mediation often involves one or more sessions where you may resolve some or all your remaining issues. Unresolved issues are typically left for courts to decide.
Dividing Assets And Debts
Under Florida law, you will be required to participate in mediation if you have children or you and your spouse have marital property and debt to be equitably distributed. Property division includes the family pet and can involve minimal or many assets and debts. Mediation often addresses contested issues, including the family home, vehicles, household items, retirement accounts, cash value of life insurance, businesses, pandemic stimulus checks, and intellectual property. Steven D. Miller, P.A. can match the facts of your case to a mediator who can guide you to resolutions.
Benefits of Mediation
Whether you are required to attend a settlement conference or choose to try it, mediation can offer several benefits over traditional litigation in a courtroom. Family disputes can be very lengthy, lasting many months to years when fully litigated in the courtroom. Thankfully, mediation is often a faster process. Instead of waiting on court dates and preparing for a trial, mediation sessions can often be scheduled and completed quickly. By the end of the process you will probably resolve some or all issues in your divorce.
Mediation is typically more affordable than traditional litigation. Fees associated with settlement conferences often include your attorney’s time spent preparing for and attending the mediation and the cost of the mediator. Mediation can avoid numerous expensive court document filings and result in lower attorney fees associated with drafting documents, court appearances, and communications. If successful for you and your spouse, your total bill will likely be far less than it would if you did not attend mediation.
Another advantage of mediation is your ability to better control the outcome. Rather than presenting issues for a judge to decide, you can resolve the issues with discussions and comprises of your choosing. Although some compromises and agreements are difficult to make, you can have far greater control over their details and feel empowered knowing that you, not a judge, made decisions for you and your family’s future.
When we are retained in a contested case, we only charge an initial/flat fee through mediation. Why? Simple: MOST cases settle at mediation.
Florida Divorce Lawyer
If you are facing divorce in Florida, it is wise to speak with an experienced family law attorney for guidance and direction. Steven D. Miller, P.A. is skilled and experienced in all aspects of divorce in Florida. For more information, touch base with Steven D. Miller, P.A. by calling (877) 348-3354 or contacting us online.