How a Mediator Can Help Reduce the Time and Costs of Your Florida Divorce
Divorce is one of the hardest things that an individual will ever have to go through in his or her lifetime. Whether or not a person initiated the proceedings, divorce oftentimes brings out anger, hurt, sadness, and feelings of ill will towards the other individual involved. All of the combined anger and frustration of both parties forces each to act in ways that he or she normally would not, if for no better reason than to make the other party suffer. It is because of these emotions that divorces are typically so costly and so time-consuming.
At our Boca Raton, Florida family law firm, our divorce mediators are adept in helping clients put aside their differences and come to an agreement regarding everything from property division to child rearing. While most divorcing couples are not going to agree on everything, our mediators can at least help them work out their bigger issues so that more time is focused on reaching an agreement, and less time is spent on arguing about who gets what—including the hideous painting that Aunt Joan got them for their first wedding anniversary.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process much like marriage counseling, except that instead of the couple trying to work out their differences so that they can stay together, the couple is trying to work out their differences so that they can achieve an amicable divorce. If you and your spouse are both feeling angry and bitter regarding your impending divorce, divorce mediation may be a better alternative than traditional divorce. Mediation provides a safe place for each of you to express your feelings about the marriage and what led to its dissolution, as well as a venue for you to talk about what you expect to take away from the marriage. Each session is controlled by a neutral third-party who is specifically trained in dealing with estranged couples.
The goal of mediation is to help you and your spouse come to an agreement regarding property division, support awards, and child custody, without all of the attorney and court fees. Furthermore, it is supposed to ensure that each spouse walks away from the divorce fully content in how it was handled and what they got from it, instead of angry and bitter about the fact that they “did not get the house,” or “were only given weekend visitation rights.”
In a typical divorce trial, each new issue that the couple has must be brought before a judge, who will review the issue and make a ruling based off of any and all available evidence. Oftentimes, the judge makes a rash decision based solely on what each individual said in the hearing. Not only does this process make for a lot of bitter post-divorce individuals, but also, it can get costly, as each time a new issue is presented, the individual must pay a Florida divorce attorney to file a motion, prepare the paperwork, and be present with them before the judge. Additionally, they must pay the courts for filing the motion and for providing the judge.
Divorce mediation eliminates the need for all of that, as in mediation, couples typically come up with a written and signed agreement that a judge or voluntary arbitrator must approve. Once approved, the process is done.
Is an Agreement Reached in Mediation Enforceable?
According to Florida Statute 44.104, voluntary mediation may be used in lieu of litigation of the resolved issues. If the parties have entered into an agreement during their voluntary mediation, and if an arbitrator who has been in good standing with the Florida courts for more than five years acted as the trial resolution judge during the voluntary mediation, the courts will proceed with the terms of the written agreement, and the judge will deem them binding.
Contact Our Boca Raton Family Law Firm
At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, our Boca Raton mediators aim to reduce the high costs associated with divorce by helping clients reach a divorce agreement without going to court. If you and your spouse are letting your emotions dictate the outcome of your divorce, and if you are worried that the whole process is never going to end, it may be time to consult a divorce mediator. Our divorce attorneys are skilled at mediation, and can assist you in coming to a divorce agreement that satisfies both parties. To see how mediation can help you, contact our family law firm at 561.391.9943 or online today.