The Florida divorce mediation process is useful once you know how it fits into the framework of how your divorce is processed through the legal system.
Mediation itself is designed to give people who are headed to court as much control as possible.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a way to resolve a dispute. It can be used outside the framework of a court case, such as in “pre-suit” mediation, when the parties agree to use mediation to resolve the problem before filing a law suit. It can also be used within the legal framer work, as when parties are either ordered to attend mediation; or decide to use it on their own without having to be ordered to mediate. This is one of the reasons why it is included as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method.
Mediation involves the use of a third party who is a neutral person, not representing either of the parties in the dispute, to help the parties reach an agreement. It differs from arbitration, which is another form of ADR, in that a mediator cannot make decisions for you or the other party, and cannot force you to make a decision either.
Unlike regular negotiations between parties, a mediation usually has a time frame and specific goals to resolve.
Mediation in a Divorce
As with any legal dispute, mediation in a divorce can be used at any point in the divorce process, even before a court case is filed. While mediation itself can be used in any kind of case that is headed to court, it is especially a good place to start in a divorce case because it can cut through a lot of the antagonism in a divorce.
There is a certain advantage to using mediation for conflict resolution before actually filing the divorce case itself because you will not have to be too concerned with the time frame imposed by court rules. You, your spouse and the mediator can direct the timing and process of the mediation.
In a divorce mediation, you and your spouse get to keep control over how your divorce will be resolved, with the opportunity to hash out your differences in private, and put the agreement in writing even before either of you file the case. The alternative to that is having the judge decide for you whatever matters you and your spouse cannot agree on.
In a divorce, the most common questions people have are:
- What will be the outcome of my divorce, besides the fact that I will be divorced?
- How will divorce impact me and my family?
- How much does a divorce cost me?
- How much time will it take to get it done?
What you will find on this site about the Florida divorce mediation process will provide you information to better answer those questions for yourself as you head into a divorce in Florida, before you spend a lot of money which you may or may not have to get it done.
If you have not hired a divorce attorney yet, you may want to start looking at the information on pro se divorce mediation in Florida.
You will also find information on what to expect in a Florida divorce mediation, whether you are represented by a lawyer or decide to do the divorce yourself.
Many people wonder what are the benefits of using mediation vs divorce lawyers, and you will find that here as well.
If you already have an idea about the Florida divorce mediation process but want more detail, then maybe you are ready to choose a divorce mediator from those listed as certified mediators with the Supreme Court.
The end result of a Florida divorce mediation, once the agreement is signed, is an uncontested divorce in Florida. As a matter of fact, all divorces in the Florida courts are ordered to mediation in an effort to avoid a trial by having the spouses try to resolve their problems before they get to spend time preparing for a full trial before a judge. If the case is not resolved with an agreement between you and your spouse, then your case will go to a trial.
See also What to Expect in a Florida Divorce Mediation for more details about using the mediation process for a divorce in Florida.