Mediation is a process where you and the other party can come to a resolution of all your issues. The mediator, a neutral third party, will discuss the case with each party and attorney to determine what each party wants and attempts to find a happy medium. Upon reaching the settlement, the parties will sign an agreement and the case is now ready for uncontested Final Hearing.
Mediation is the tool that allows you to end your marriage in the fashion you want and provide a pathway forward to develop a future relationship with your spouse. This is vital when you have children in common. Though you may cease to be a husband or a wife, you may still be a father or mother.
The Mediation process settles about 98% of all contested cases. So why does mediation work so well in divorce and other family law circumstances?
The Neutral Third Party. In order to be a Certified Supreme Court Approved Mediator, a person must have at least a bachelor’s degree and must successfully complete a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediation training program. The Mediator is a neutral third party that has no knowledge of your case and whose primary responsibility is to get you and your spouse to reach an agreement.
The Ability to Communicate. Mediation gives the parties the opportunity to express their concerns and fears to each other in a control environment. The parties are on opposite sides of the table, or more frequently, the parties’ caucuses, (separated) during mediation. The process uses a neutral third party for communication between you and your spouse, this is highly preferable then the spouses or their attorneys fighting with each other. I think most divorce attorneys would agree that left to the designs of the parties and attorneys without the involvement of a mediator the settlement rate would be very low. A good mediator guides both parties toward a solution by keeping the communication focus on goal achievement, as opposed to fault determination. When one spouse is not accepting of the reality of the pending dissolution it is the mediator’s responsibility to listen but keep the emotions under control and help the parties make good rational decisions. Which leads me into my next point.
Mediation Develops Solutions to your Problems. Let’s face it, there is a reason people divorce. And if they have not been able to reach a solution to their differences before they have gone to mediation, it is most likely because the parties have differing opinions or behaviors that have destroyed the relationship. Mediation attempts to put the past behind the parties and looks to develop a fair and equitable solution that works for both parties. The anger and frustration of the collapse of the marriage is not factored into the future, and the mediation process helps the parties to agree and to accept reality for what it is and not be vindictive about this reality.
Mediation is Generally Best for Children. If the parties cannot agree on how to raise their children using the mediation process, you have taken the power out of your hands and placed them in the hands of a stranger. This person knows nothing of you or your spouse, a person the will make a decision and move on to the next case because this is that persons job. We are talking about the Judge. Mediation makes your children’s interest paramount. If the parties, the parents, agree that the health and wellness of their children is vital, despite the collapse of the marriage, it is easy to create an arrangement that works for everyone. However, good people sometimes have differing views on what they consider vital to the health and wellness of the children and there is a divide or gap. It is the mediators focus to bridge this gap and develop a plan to that is in the children’s best interest.
It Is Fair, Affordable, And Timely. Mediation offers a divorce solution that is fair for both parties. Both spouses play a role in the final arrangement, so each has a say in what is an ideal arrangement. Each party leaves a mediation session feeling differently, however you should never feel taken advantage of or damaged because of the arrangement. However, parties must understand that this is a give and take negotiation, and neither party can have “everything.” It is cheaper and takes less time to have a fruitful mediation than a litigated divorce. The average mediation sessions for divorce last just a few hours (3-6). This reduces your attorney’s fees and costs. It also means your divorce is resolved in three to six months as opposed to twelve to eighteen months.