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Tampa Family Lawyer > Blog > Mediation > Understanding Mediation In A Florida Divorce

Understanding Mediation In A Florida Divorce


While divorce is often dramatized on television as a contentious process with courts and judges, it need not be that way in many cases. Mediation allows couples to settle their disputes in a private forum with an independent third-party mediator who acts as a negotiator. The couple can hammer out issues related to the division of marital assets, alimony, child custody, and child support. If you have children, the Florida courts require that couples engage in mediation before involving the courts. If mediation breaks down, then you can involve the courts. Often, however, this is contrary to the best interests of the spouses, not to mention their children. In this article, the Tampa, FL divorce mediation attorneys at Faulkner Law Group, PLLC will discuss divorce mediation and how it works.

Understanding the mediation process 

Mediators, much like judges, act as neutral third parties. They do not represent the interests of one spouse or the other. Instead, they are attorneys, financial advisors, or other individuals with specific qualifications who help spouses work collaboratively to settle issues related to their divorce as opposed to fighting about them in court. Mediators will meet with each spouse individually or together. The proceedings of a divorce mediation are confidential, even from the courts. Mediation involves one or more mediation sessions during which you and your former spouse resolve some or all of your remaining issues. Unresolved issues are then left for the court to decide.

Dividing assets and debts 

Florida law will require spouses to enter into mediation if they have marital property and debt that needs to be equitably distributed. Property division includes assets and debts such as the family home, retirement accounts, and even the family pet. Mediation addresses contested matters related to asset division.

Benefits of mediation over litigation 

Mediation offers several benefits over litigating a divorce in a courtroom. Litigation can take months, even years, to fully settle when a judge has to weigh in on every decision that a couple cannot make themselves. Mediation is much faster and resolves issues related to a divorce in a much more financially advantageous manner. Instead of waiting on court dates, and then preparing for a lengthy trial, mediation sessions can be scheduled at your convenience and completed quickly. By the time the process is finished, you will have likely resolved some or all of your issues related to your divorce.

Because mediation is faster, it is also more affordable than traditional litigation. Mediation avoids numerous expensive court document filings and results in lower attorney fees associated with court appearances, drafting documents, and lawyerly communications.

You have more control over the outcome in mediation than you do in a litigated setting where a judge will render any final decisions. Mediation is also entirely private meaning that your financial records will not be a matter of public record as they are when you litigate a divorce.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Divorce Mediation Attorney Today 

Faulkner Law Group, PLLC represents the interests of Tampa residents searching for a divorce mediator to help resolve issues related to their divorce. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and we can begin scheduling your mediation sessions right away.

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