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When Can You Get Out of Going to Family Mediation?


In virtually every area of the law, most cases do not go to trial, but whether or not this comes as reassuring news depends on the context.  If you are facing criminal charges, it probably does not cheer you up that you will probably eventually reach the conclusion that pleading guilty is your best option.  If you are a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, though, it is probably a relief that your lawyer can probably get the defendant to pay you a settlement that covers all your accident-related medical bills without having to go through a trial where the defendant’s lawyer cross examines you about how physically unfit you were before the accident.  Divorce mediation does not sound like anyone’s idea of fun, but by strategizing with their lawyers every step of the way, most people are able to work out all of their property division issues and agree to a parenting plan in mediation without going to trial.  Most people are not divorcing your ex, though.  The idea of trying to negotiate with your ex, especially now that you have made it clear that your marriage is over, makes your blood run cold.  The courts allow certain exemptions to the mediation requirement, but most likely, you will have to make a good faith effort at mediation before a divorce court will decide your case.  For help finding a resolution to your divorce through mediation or trial, contact a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

How Mediation Is Supposed to Work in Family Law Cases

Divorce cases begin when one spouse files a divorce petition and the other spouse files a response.  If there are any points on which the petitioner and respondent disagree about property division or parenting time, the court schedules mediation.  The parties must attend mediation sessions in an effort to work out a property settlement and, if applicable, a parenting plan.  After several sessions, if it becomes clear to the parties and to the mediator that reaching a mediated agreement is impossible, the case goes to trial.

When Do Judges Waive the Mediation Requirement?

It is possible to divorce without mediation.  The best-case scenario is that you get a collaborative divorce, where you work out all your differences before ever setting foot in the courthouse, so that neither mediation nor a trial is necessary.  The worst-case scenario is that, because of domestic violence, one spouse has a restraining order against the other and it is illegal for them to be in the same room together, even for mediation.  In one Palm Beach County case, the court eventually waived the mediation requirement when the wife kept trying to schedule mediation, but the husband kept rescheduling the appointments or not showing up, playing what the wife’s lawyer described as a cat and mouse game.

Contact Schwartz | White About Surviving Divorce Mediation

A South Florida family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce from a spouse who refuses to play by the rules.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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