Family cases are some of the most emotional because they often involve high stakes and complex family dynamics. However, Florida courts often require families to attend mediation before seeking relief from the court.
Issues that Can Successfully Be Resolved through Mediation
Mediation is a negotiation by the parties facilitated by a trained family law mediator. Therefore, any legal family issue they are encountering may be able to be resolved through mediation. Common family law issues resolved in mediation include:
- Dividing assets and liabilities between the parties
- Parenting time allocation and custody decisions
- Spousal support matters
- Child support
- Determining how to handle expenses related to the children
- Modification of a previous order of support
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation offers several important advantages to participants. Mediation can quickly be scheduled so that the parties can resolve conflict when it first arises. This resolution is much faster than litigation. Settlement is much less expensive than months, and even years, of litigation. The costs of mediation can be divided between the parties.
Parties in mediation have greater control over the outcome of the case than they would if a judge decides key issues that affect their family. Mediation fosters a more positive relationship between the parties by encouraging them to work together instead of treating each other as adversaries in protracted litigation. This is especially important for their children.
Mediation is confidential. The participants cannot disclose information that was discussed during mediation in a subsequent hearing. Because of this feature, the parties will often be more open and honest with each other, which can lead to a better understanding of the other’s position.