Yes, mediation can be a cost-effective method for settling divorce disputes and moving the process along. Litigation fees will be decreased due to less time in court, and a final agreement can be closer to your reach.
The ending of a marriage usually means that two people no longer agree on important issues dealing with their lives. Consequently, the divorce proceedings can become quite inflamed due to this overall state of disagreement, and take longer to settle important differences that can affect future finances, residence, and children’s activities. The State of Florida utilizes mediation for contested issues and family matters in hopes that the proceedings will then smoothly be heard, and divorces granted in a timely fashion, so parties can move on.
Mediation is the process of using a third party to assist in resolving disputes between two or more people. The hopeful end result is that the disputing parties are able to reach mutually acceptable agreements where everything throughout the process is up to the parties involved. The parties determine the frequency and length of meetings and can adjust the format to accommodate comfort levels of either side and are able to have a say in the decision making that the court will rule upon with the divorce action. If the parties do not agree on important matters, the court can become parental and make the decisions for them taking away their control.
The role of the mediator helps to identify issues needing to be resolved, explores settlement alternatives and fosters joint problem solving. The mediator does not make decisions and only assists the parties to form a written agreement with mutual consent on all matters disputed. This agreement is then signed and filed with the court after the parties give their mutual consent.
Mediation is recommended when parties to a divorce action cannot agree and the case is referred to family mediation, whereby parties must select a mediator unless they have one provided by the court due to financial constraints (financial affidavits would need to be provided before this would happen). If parties are not eligible for court provided mediation, they shall select their own mediator and hold a mediation conference in accordance with the order of referral. In accordance with Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.741 (b)(6)(A) and Rule of Civil Procedure 1.710(f)(1), eligible and non-eligible parties may choose their own mediator; however the selection must occur within ten(10) days of the order of referral.
Mediation is Useful in Matters Regarding:
Alimony – financial support to a divorced party from their former spouse, usually the main financial provider of the marriage, made under order of the court.
Child Support/Time-Sharing – financial support based on each parties’ income; child care and insurance costs for the dependents, and how many overnights each parent spends with the child. Child Support Guidelines Worksheets must be completed by both parties and attached to final agreement.
Distribution of Marital Assets/Liabilities – distributing the assets and liabilities between the parties to the divorce as directed by the court.
Finalization of the Marital Settlement Agreement – a formal agreement between the divorcing parties spelling out agreed upon terms regarding finances, dependent care, shared visitation, and expenses incurred over child support obligations for dependents.
Hire an Attorney.
Divorce is a time consuming, emotional, financial and family upheaval for which you will need to seek a professional at the Aikin Family Law Group to point you in the right direction for your personal, family and financial future.
Aikin Family Law Group
2180 Park Avenue North
Winter Park, Florida 32789