In Florida, when a couple is getting a divorce, judges strongly encourage and, at times, require that the couple try mediation. While many divorcing couples end up litigating their cases in court, you can resolve your divorce-related issues outside court through mediation. And the even better news is that mediation can help you reduce the expense, time, and stress of divorce. However, while mediation has many benefits, it is vital to remember that there are also cons to this alternative dispute resolution. Additionally, it is essential to remember that mediation is unsuitable for some divorce cases.
Overview of Divorce Mediation
Mediation entails resolving divorce-related issues with the help of a trained and experienced neutral third party called a mediator. The mediator will assist you and your spouse in discussing your divorce-related issues. The mediator’s main role is to help you and your spouse reach mutually acceptable and beneficial resolutions. The mediator will help you and your spouse clarify disagreements so you can come up with solutions. Some of the issues a mediator can help you resolve include the following;
- Child support
- Property division
- Business succession
During the whole process of mediation, the mediator is required to remain completely impartial. The mediator may not provide legal advice or counseling to you or your spouse. Additionally, the mediator is not responsible for making decisions for you and your spouse. You and your spouse are the ones to make decisions.
Benefits of Mediation
The following are some of the benefits of divorce mediation;
- This alternative dispute resolution method provides a cooperative approach that allows divorcing couples to communicate and find solutions.
- Mediation allows divorcing spouses to have more control over the outcome of the case.
- Mediation offers a faster resolution of your divorce.
- Mediation saves money.
- Mediation can set the tone for a better post-divorce relationship and make co-parenting smoother.
- Mediation allows you to retain privacy and confidentiality.
However, while mediation offers many benefits, there are also cons to this alternative dispute resolution method you need to know about. Cons of mediation include the following;
- Mediators don’t offer legal advice. If you do not have an attorney, no one will be looking out for your best interests.
- Mediation is not a productive option for spouses with a power imbalance.
- Abuse and other urgent matters cannot be handled by mediation.
The bottom line is that you should weigh the pros and cons of divorce before deciding if it is a good fit for your divorce. Remember, you are not under any obligation to try mediation unless the court orders it.
Mediating Cases Involving Domestic Violence
Divorce mediation is generally inappropriate when there is ongoing domestic violence in a marriage. If there is ongoing domestic violence, most likely, the case will proceed to court.
Finally, while you are not required to hire a lawyer during a mediation case, it is best that you have legal representation. An attorney can provide legal advice and advocate for your rights.
Contact Us for Legal Help
Contact our skilled divorce attorneys at Tampa Bay Legal Center, PA., if you have questions about divorce mediation.