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A man and woman sit on a couch, with the man holding a clipboard appearing to be engaged in mediation for Florida family court cases. The Family Law Firm Of Tampa BayIn this article you can discover:

Why Is Mediation Important In Florida Family Court Cases?

In Florida, most family law cases are referred to mediation. Depending on your county, you might be required to attend mediation before ever seeing a judge. Mediation is extremely important because it may be your only chance to have a say in what the final judgment will look like. You know more about the intricacies of your life and what is best for your children than any judge, so it is important to take mediation seriously.

If My Ex-Partner Is Completely Irrational Or Unwilling To Compromise Is Mediation Off The Table?

Mediation is never off the table regardless of how challenging or difficult your spouse or ex-partner might be. Because mediators differ in their approaches, finding the right mediator is essential and can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Our firm has worked with various mediators and can help you find one who is a good fit for your case.

Also, keep in mind that the attorney on the other side will likely encourage your ex-partner to make a good-faith effort during mediation since mediating a case is often in the best interest of both parties. If your ex-partner’s expectations are irrational or unrealistic, their attorney has an obligation to explain the law to them.

When Is The Best Time To Start Mediation?

The best time to start mediation is typically after mandatory disclosures have been exchanged. This is the stage of the case where all the financial documents required to be turned over by Florida statute are given to the other side. The timeframe for this happening is usually around three months after filing, but it can vary depending on various factors such as mediator availability and how long it takes both parties to comply.

How Many Sessions Of Mediation Are Needed When People Are Divorcing?

While one mediation could be all that you need, realistically speaking, it could take more depending on several factors including:

  1. The length of the mediation session
  2. The emotional state of the parties
  3. The complexities of the case

Sometimes feelings of anger and frustration are so fresh at the beginning of the case that it’s not feasible to reach a final agreement during the first mediation. In this situation, it may be possible to reach a temporary agreement to test things out and give each other some time to cool off. Many times, it is easier to be productive at a second or third mediation after the parties have had time to reflect and are more level-headed.

Can All Aspects Of The Family Law Be Mediated Including Custody And Support Issues?

All aspects of a family law case truly can be mediated and should be whenever possible. Mediation is your only chance to have some input in what things are going to look like because the judge will have the ultimate say should the case proceed to court.

Details of your divorce that can be resolved in mediation include but are not limited to:

Is Mediation Right For Every Divorce?

Mediation is required in many counties, and even if it isn’t, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a try. No matter what happens during mediation, it is ultimately your decision whether to accept or decline the proposal. No one, including your attorney or the mediator, can make you agree to something you don’t want to.

Furthermore, while it might feel like mediation is pointless or equivalent to giving up, you may be pleasantly surprised by what a good mediator can help you accomplish. You should always give mediation a chance because litigating that case is often far worse. In any event, the law will likely require your case to go to mediation regardless of your circumstances, so it is best to have an open mind.

What Are The Financial Advantages Of Mediation Over Litigation?

The financial advantages of mediation are significant because litigating your case will require you to not only pay for your attorney to appear in court but also for the numerous hours of work your attorney will need to do to prepare for trial. In addition, if your case proceeds to litigation, you might have to take time off from work to prepare and appear in court, costing you even more.

Is Mediation Always Successful?

While mediation is not always successful, you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you fail to reach an agreement on the first try. At the beginning of the case, emotions can still be running high and clouding judgment. Often, it is easier to reach a compromise at a second or third mediation once both parties have had time to reflect on the costs and unknown outcomes of the trial.

What Are Some Other Advantages Of Family Law Mediation?

Besides the financial benefits, mediation has many other advantages over litigation which can cost you in time, emotional energy, and a potentially unfavorable ruling by the judge.

Another benefit of mediation is that it allows you to be a little bit more creative with agreements than the judge can be – especially when it comes to time sharing.

For example, if a father who hasn’t recently spent much time with their child wants to have more frequent visits, you could negotiate something called a “step-up plan.” This would allow the father to start with minimal visitation and increase the visits over time, easing the child and parents into the new routine.

Is Your Firm Willing To Take My Family Law Case To Court If Mediation Fails?

Our firm can represent you through all stages of your family law case including trial. Should mediation fail, we will provide you with a retainer letter estimating what litigation will cost. Once you’ve had time to review the letter, we will set up a meeting to discuss your options and come up with a plan of action.

For more information on Family Law Mediation In Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (813) 519-5919 today.

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