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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 lawyer 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 parenting plan, alimony, 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!

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