Sarasota Divorce Mediation Attorneys
Mediation is a common option chosen by spouses who seek a dissolution of marriage in Florida. The collaborative framework of divorce mediation provides both parties with a number of mutually beneficial advantages, including confidentiality of their personal information and information pertaining to the marriage, among a wide range of additional advantages. It’s important to note, however, that mediators are not required to present legal information to divorcing spouses or preside over matters such as the distribution of marital assets and debts and the valuation of a marital business. If you are considering divorce mediation, consult dependable Sarasota divorce attorneys with Tobaygo Law for experienced counsel throughout the mediation process — we will ensure the protection of your rights and advocate on your behalf, if necessary, to achieve the best result possible for your case.
What Is Mediation?
Divorce inherently carries a significant amount of conflict which typically affects both spouses who seek a dissolution of marriage. Sometimes, however, these conflicts may be resolved by the parties without litigation in family court. In other cases, the marital conflicts are so severe that the case requires the legal oversight of a judge. In between these two scenarios, there are issues that can be resolved through a process called mediation. Mediation is a formal negotiation session hosted by a third party outside of court. Unlike arbitration or a court hearing, the final decision regarding mediation is mutually made by the parties.
If no agreement can be determined during the mediation process, the mediation has reached an impasse and will thereafter follow the legal course of a divorce. If the parties agree during mediation, a mediated settlement agreement is drafted and filed with the appropriate court. This mediated agreement is ultimately entered as a court order and is as enforceable as orders to a contested hearing. This is an important factor for mediating parties to understand, as it allows each spouse — and his or her divorce attorney — to draft their own court order while eliminating the risk and uncertainty of a contested hearing.
How Does Mediation Work?
All contested divorce cases start out with at least one disagreement. One spouse will want more alimony than the other is willing to pay, or the parties won’t be able to agree on a schedule for child custody. Ultimately, one of the parties may want the court to intervene to stop the other party from acting in a manner with which they may disagree or contest. In order for court-involvement following mediation, a divorce attorney must file a motion with the clerk of the court and request time before a judge, in which both spouses may present their case. In the majority of cases regarding spouses seeking to end their marriage, family courts will order the parties to attend mediation before allowing a scheduled court hearing.
What Are The Benefits Of Mediation?
In some cases, the parties disagree on such a fundamental level that they may never be able to come to an agreement. But in the majority of cases, there is at least portion of the case in which there is promise for compromise and ultimate settlement — this is where mediation has an advantage to traditional divorce hearings. With the help of a qualified mediator, divorcing spouses have the opportunity to maintain control over the outcome of their case, only allowing the entry of an order with the permission and agreement of both parties.
Amicable Dispute Resolution
Mediation can be especially helpful in divorces that involve minor children. The Florida court system strongly favors amicable resolutions, either partial or complete, to be made between the parties without the need for judicial intervention. Alternative dispute resolution is a preferred method of solving a conflict between parties in any lawsuit, including child support. Unless there is a time-sensitive need for relief from the court parties should allow progress to be made with discovery prior to scheduling an appointment with a mediator.
Confidentiality in mediation allows parties to ensure the protection and privacy of sensitive information. During mediation, if one spouse reveals information that is sensitive in nature, the other party will submit a discovery request shortly after mediation directed at that information. If the information is gathered outside the mediation setting, it’s fair game. As such, it is usually wise to keep some of your more important strategic considerations in mind until a final settlement appears imminent.
Common Mediation Strategies
Every case is comprised of circumstances that are unique to the involved spouses, but sometimes, mediation can provide a complete or global settlement which proves to be mutually beneficial and mutually favorable. Other times, the parties are lucky if they can reach a temporary agreement throughout the course of the mediation. Sometimes it becomes apparent that mediation isn’t going to work early on in the process — in this case, it’s best for spouses to consult with their respective family law attorneys to avoid divulging sensitive information regarding their long-term legal strategies. Although confidential, mediation is valuable for tailoring legal strategy of each spouse.
Is An Attorney Required For Mediation?
If spouses are unable to find common ground with a mutual agreement during divorce mediation, the mediation has reached an impasse. Thereafter, the case will proceed to trial and each party will have the opportunity to present their case before a judge in family court. Whether you prefer to engage in divorce mediation or traditional divorce litigation to end the marriage, the most effective method to achieving a successful divorce is with the comprehensive counsel of an experienced divorce attorney in Sarasota, FL. Contact our firm today to discuss your case.