Mediation Can Make Your Divorce Less Expensive and More Peaceful
In a perfect world, you and your spouse could agree on all the terms of your separation, so that getting divorced would just be a matter of filing forms together and getting a judge to sign off on legally dissolving your marriage. While uncontested divorce works for some couples, it is usually not an option for families with minor children. If you have children, it is understandable to want to avoid a bitter divorce battle. As an experiment, read a few court decisions issued in divorce cases on Justia or another site that publishes the rulings of appeals courts. The decisions tend to hash out, in excruciating detail, all the ugly things the parties said and did. From petty arguments about not returning the clothes that children wore during visits to the other parent to truly serious allegations about parents creating an unsafe environment for the children, you get to read all of it, and the whole world will get to read about your divorce if it gets to that level of contentiousness. Mediation is a solution for couples who need help resolving disagreements about their divorce but do not want to go through litigation. If your divorce goes to mediation, it is still a good idea to work with a South Florida divorce lawyer.
How Family Mediation Works in Florida
Family mediation is one of the alternative dispute resolution services offered by the courts in Florida. You and your spouse meet with a professional mediator and discuss your disagreements with him or her. Not all mediators are lawyers, but they all have professional experience in dispute resolution, whether as teachers, psychological counselors, business executives, or professionals in some other career field. The mediator facilitates discussion between you and your spouse, but ultimately the decision comes from the couple, not the mediator. Many people who work with mediators during the divorce process also hire lawyers. You can meet with your lawyer before mediation sessions so that your lawyer can advise you on what kind of agreement would be favorable to you and on how to achieve such an agreement. If you so choose, your lawyer can even attend mediation sessions with you. The mediation sessions are completely confidential; only the couple, their lawyers, and the mediator know what is said.
If you and your spouse reach an agreement through mediation, the two spouses and the mediator sign a mediation agreement and submit it to a judge, who uses it as the basis for a divorce decree. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement even after several sessions with a mediator, then litigation (a legal dispute to be decided by a judge) is the only option.
Let Us Help You Today
Even if your divorce does not go to trial, it is still a good idea to get professional advice from a lawyer about protecting your rights and interests. Contact the Boca Raton divorce attorneys at Schwartz | White about your case.