You’ve probably heard the term “mediation” before, but may wonder how it applies in family law situations. A mediator is a neutral third party who works to facilitate a negotiated settlement between the parties. In family law, mediation can take place before or after a divorce is filed and can resolve all or most including property, parental responsibility, time-sharing, spousal support, and any other issue that is relevant to the parties. Mediation can also take place at other points during or after the divorce, should the parties have a disagreement. Mediation works because those most affected by the consequences of the decision actually make the decision, rather than having the outcome forced upon them by a judge. The goal? To work out differences and avoid an emotionally and financially costly battle in the courtroom.
Mediation Saves Time and Money
Mediation saves time and money. While Central Florida court cases can be drawn out over years and involve attorney’s fees and expert witness fees sometimes in excess of the marital estate, the cost of mediation is often shared by both parties and typically takes just one or two sessions.
As a neutral party, the mediator does not have power to impose a solution or decision. Because the parties retain ultimate control over their outcome, the emotional impact of the dispute is lessened and both parties can walk away from the negotiation with a solution that preserves their dignity.
What Is The Role Of The Mediator?
Since the parties involved retain power, you may wonder how significant the mediator’s role is, and whether it makes a difference if you choose one mediator or another. The mediator facilitates the negotiations and discusses the relative merits of each party’s claims and defenses. By agreement and permission of the parties, the neutral sets the ground rules and may profoundly affect the order of the proceedings, the parties’ collective and individual analyses, and the general dynamic of the settlement discussion.
Contact us now or give us a call at 407-896-0491 to to schedule a mediation with one of our two Florida Supreme Court certified family and appellate mediators and learn how the Orlando family firm of Sasser and Weber can assist you.