In Family Court, in South Florida, parties are ordered to attend Mediation. Divorce Mediation is typically an in-person conference with a certified mediator, the parties and their respective attorneys to discuss and try to settle the issues of their case, which may include child related issues, time sharing, parental responsibility, paternity issues, property distribution, allocation of debts, alimony or spousal support, child support, attorney’s fees and costs and a host of other issues which typically permeate in a divorce case.
Each party is given an opportunity to explain their side of the case and their views on how the issues should be resolved. Through the negotiation process, the mediator works with the parties to find common ground and provide possible solutions for their differences. The mediator may also meet with each party separately and confidentially in what is known as a “caucus”.
The issues agreed upon are memorialized into a written agreement which is reviewed and signed by the parties. Since Mediation is a voluntary process, if no agreement is reached, the parties will return to Court. Discussions during mediation are considered confidential and cannot be announced or used against any party in court, or otherwise, with certain exceptions noted in Chapter 44 of the Florida Statutes
Deciding upon a qualified family law mediator is a vital step to ensure the most effective use of time and fees incurred in connection with a divorce proceeding. Mr. Sidweber is a Board Certified expert family law attorney who specializes in dealing with family law issues.
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Submitted by Robert W. Sidweber, Esquire