Is Mediation Mandatory In Florida Divorces?
Mediation is not an uncommon process in Florida divorces and other family law cases. But does Florida law actually require divorcing couples to attend mediation? Or is mediation optional when seeking a divorce in the Sunshine State?
Mediation is a process designed to help spouses resolve their disputes through negotiations without any court involvement. Because mediation allows you to reach an agreement without court, you and your spouse could reduce the cost of your divorce and finalize your divorce faster.
Divorce litigation is usually a costly, time-consuming, and adversarial process, which is why you should speak with an Orlando mediation attorney to determine whether or not you should try settling your divorce through mediation. At Donna Hung Law Group, our attorneys have extensive experience helping divorcing couples resolve their disputes through negotiation and dialogue.
Does Florida Law Require Mediation in Divorce Cases?
While mediation is not initially required when parties file for divorce, a court may make mediation mandatory if no settlement is reached. In other words, a Florida court may require you and your spouse to try mediation before allowing your case to go to court.
If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on all issues in your divorce case, including alimony and division of property, your divorce is considered “contested.” Under Fla. Stat. § 44.102, a court may order mediation in a divorce case before trial.
Alternatively, parties can try mediation by agreement at any point during their divorce proceedings. Thus, to answer the question, “Is mediation mandatory in Florida divorce?” the answer is not that simple.
While Florida law does not explicitly require mediation in divorce cases, courts have the authority to refer a divorcing couple to mediation before hearing their case. If mediation is not successful and no agreement is reached, the parties may feel free to take their divorce case to trial.
Should You Try Mediation in Your Divorce Case in Florida?
If you are considering giving mediation a shot in your divorce case, you should understand the benefits of mediating a divorce. One of the most significant benefits of mediation is that it offers parties full control over the outcome of their divorce case, not to mention that the process is much faster, less stressful, and less costly than traditional litigation.
When your divorce case goes to court, you cannot predict the outcome of your case. You will have to accept the judgment in your case even if you are not satisfied with it.
How Does Mediation Work in a Florida Divorce?
If you and your spouse agree to mediation or a court orders mediation in your divorce case, a neutral, third-party mediator will be assigned to your case. You and your spouse will attend mediation in the presence of your respective attorneys to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement on:
- Child custody (timesharing and parenting plan)
- Child support
- Alimony (spousal support)
- Property division
You need a skilled attorney on your side to protect your rights during mediation and ensure that the divorce agreement reflects your wishes and preferences. Contact our lawyers at Donna Hung Law Group to review your particular case. Call 407-999-0099.