Mediation in Florida Divorce
When can a divorce process involve mediation? Mediation can come into play
when spouses cannot agree on a settlement, such as property division,
child custody, or alimony, but they can agree to negotiate over these
issues. Both parties must volunteer to enter into this or be ordered by
the court to attend mediation. This can be part of a simplified dissolution
where you may only have to appear in court for a final hearing.
For these mediation sessions, a lawyer does not always have to be present;
though a dedicated attorney can help you assert your interests and clarify
your positions during meetings. Even if your attorney is not present with
you, it would be invaluable to consult with a
divorce attorney upon entering mediation.
Who is a mediator in a divorce?
The mediator is a neutral third party who has the qualifications to negotiate
a legally binding settlement. While he or she cannot offer legal advice
or order anything legally binding, the mediator can help spouses write
up an agreement to file with the court. A mediator can help both parties
go over their options, and ensure that proceedings take place in an amicable manner.
Benefits of Mediation in a Divorce
Mediation sessions are not a trial, and as such, these meetings are informal
and flexible. This process takes much less time than a divorce trial would
take. Courts can have a growing backload of cases, pushing court dates
back by months. Mediation can save you both time and money. With a mediator's
help, you and your spouse can find mutually suitable arrangements for your
child support, and more. You and your spouse can make all of the vital decisions, instead
of attorneys and a judge having the final say in a contentious courtroom
battle. The major issues that affect the next chapter of your life should
be in your hands, not in the hands of a stranger.
Are there any disadvantages to mediation in divorce?
If one spouse has a hefty advantage, be it a financial one or the ability
to be more aggressive and assertive, mediation negotiations may be skewed
unfairly. If a spouse is being dishonest, a mediator does not have the
clout to order a
deposition or any legal action to obtain information, such as full financial disclosure.
There is no guarantee that you and your spouse will be able to reach an
agreement through mediation. A mediator has no legal authority, and as
such, if you and your spouse cannot decide on a resolution, then the case
will have to be taken to trial, negating any benefits that mediation offers.
A mediation will only work if both parties enter the process in good faith,
and they are open to being honest and finding a fair compromise. A qualified
and patient family law attorney can help ensure your best interests and
rights are protected. A mediator cannot order anything or offer legal
advice, which is why you need your attorney present.
Qualified Divorce Mediation Lawyer in Panama City
You want to be sure that you have strong legal representation on your side
when entering into a divorce, as you potentially have the rest of your
life on the line. Child custody, child support, alimony, and property
division can all be at stake during mediation. An experienced Panama City
divorce attorney from the firm can help ensure that your best interests
and rights are being protected during mediation. Seaton Law Offices, P.A.
wants to help you move on to a brighter future. To learn more about what
mediation and a divorce mediation lawyer can do for you,
do not hesitate to
contact Seaton Law Offices, P.A. today!