A divorce does not have to be a money-draining, knock-down, drag-out affair with both sides hiring lawyers and heading to court. Divorce mediation can help you avoid court and resolve questions of property, child support, alimony, and child custody in the way that works best for your family. Mediation is a process for resolving disputes that allows parties, with the help of a mediator, to come to an agreement on contended issues. A Florida Supreme Court certified mediator conducts the mediation according to rules and statutes requiring mediators to: (1) Remain neutral – not biased toward either party; (2) Not force either party into an agreement; and (3) Always work for the mutual good of the parties. The mediator helps both spouses work together to reach an agreement, which can then be entered as a divorce judgment by a judge. Agreements reached in mediation are very likely to stand the test of time, because the spouses have worked out the agreement themselves, instead of having a judge impose it on them. Mediation opens lines of communication and allows parties to explore all settlement options in order to resolve disputes. Everything said during mediation is confidential and (except as provided by law) may not be repeated to anyone other than the other party and/or the party’s attorney. Mediation gives parties more control over the outcome of their case, normally allows the case to be resolved sooner, and can save on the overall expense involved in the case.
Whether you choose mediation, staying out of court will benefit you, your spouse, and your children.
NATASHA D. MAYNE IS A FLORIDA SUPREME COURT CERTIFIED FAMILY LAW MEDIATOR.