A Step-By-Step Guide of What to Expect from Divorce Mediation in Florida
Divorce mediation is becoming one of the most frequently used methods of negotiating divorce settlements in Orlando and elsewhere in Florida. It is clear why so many separating and divorcing couples choose mediation.
After all, mediation allows the couples to take control of planning their post-divorce lives and making decisions about their future instead of having a stranger – the judge – decide things about their lives.
Although mediation provides a non-hostile, court-free, and cheaper alternative to litigation, the separating or divorcing couple might still benefit from seeking help from an Orlando mediation lawyer at Donna Hung Law Group as you need to resolve all disputes and disagreements fairly.
The Process of Divorce Mediation in Florida
In Florida, all separating or divorcing couples have the option of resolving their disputes out of court or by resorting to Collaborative Practice.
Family courts in Orlando frequently order mediation before trial to give the divorcing parties a chance to reach a consensus without having to fight it out in court. The ability to control the outcome of your divorce is the top reason why you should consider mediating your divorce.
Step 1. Choosing the Mediator
Although the court usually provides an in-house mediator when you are required to mediate, you have a right to ask for your own private mediator.
A mediator is a neutral party who has no decision-making power and has no stake in the outcome of the negotiation process.
The sole duty of the mediator is to facilitate a productive discussion between the parties, helping them to agree on things and resolve disputes. A mediator must help the parties come to their own resolution rather than leaving it up to the court to decide for them.
Step 2. Finding Common Ground
After the mediator has been chosen by both parties, each party will be expected to explain their position on different issues and aspects of divorce and suggest solutions that would satisfy them.
The mediator must make sure that the parties refrain from interrupting each other. Since divorce proceedings often involve negative emotions and conflicts, the mediator has the duty to ensure that both parties remain civil.
Sometimes, the mediator will meet with one party at a time and can make suggestions for resolving disputes and issues to help the parties find common grounds.
Step 3. Resolving Issues
In the course of divorce mediation, both parties are free to discuss a wide range of issues, including property division, co-parenting arrangements, alimony, child visitation, and other aspects of divorce.
Both parties must resolve all of the issues and agree on all aspects of their divorce to avoid going to court.
Step 4. Reaching the Mediation Agreement
After the parties have successfully resolved their differences in mediation, the mediator will prepare the mediation agreement, which covers all aspects of the divorce.
The parties will then review the agreement to ensure that they agree with all the aspects of the agreement. Note: You are not forced to sign it. If you do not agree with certain issues in it or failed to resolve your differences with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, you will go to trial.
Step 5. Finalizing the Divorce
When both parties sign the mediation agreement within the time prescribed by the court, it becomes legally binding. Then, the parties will have to present the agreement to the judge at their scheduled court hearing.
When the judge reviews and approves the mediation agreement, he or she grants the divorce while the agreement becomes part of the decree.
If you have questions about mediation in Florida, speak to our Orlando mediation attorney at Donna Hung Law Group. Call us at 407-999-0099 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.