Florida Divorce Mediation

Mediators, Counseling, and Parenting Classes

Divorce counseling and mediation services are a resource that is sometimes over-looked by couples going through or contemplating a dissolution of marriage.


Divorce mediation is gaining a lot of attention. And deservedly so.

Divorcing couples who cannot agree on issues would greatly benefit from a mediator's services.

Without mediation, a dissolution can become an emotionally draining, and very costly experience.

Reasons to Consider Divorce Mediation

Florida divorce mediation is an alternative to a long and costly divorce process.

A divorce mediator can help both parties solve their disagreements.

This is why many states are ruling that anyone seeking a divorce needs to attempt mediation first.

While this process is purely voluntary in the state of Florida, it is still recommended.

The goal of a mediator is to stop the fighting and present alternatives so both parties can ultimately agree.

No matter the issue, whether child custody, child support, taxes, alimony, property division, or debt management, mediation can help both parties to file uncontested rather than spend time in court and pay expensive legal fees.

What does a divorce mediator do?

A mediator is a person who has experience in divorce proceedings.

Often they are even prior attorneys or at least familiar with all aspects of the law and generally have a family counseling degree or equivalent.

A mediator will not give legal advice or tell a person what to do; they will present alternatives to every issue.

It is important that a mediator not give legal advice or tell either party what they should or should not do because they are a neutral party trying to help both people rather than represent one or the other.

Differences of Mediators and Judges

While this may sound like the role of a judge, it differs significantly.

A judge decides what should be done and orders both parties to do it, while a mediator can never order or force either party to do anything.

In the Florida divorce mediation process both parties meet with a mediator at a neutral non-judicial setting in order to make the setting as comfortable as possible.

A good mediator will want to know all of the issues at stake and manage the discussion on every issue in order to attempt solutions that both parties can agree to.

Most people prefer the mediation process because it is similar to a bargaining process in which a person and choose to say “no” if they want to.

In mediation, a lawyer may be present to advise one party or the other, but the point of mediation is to stay away from high legal fees and stop the fighting.

Benefits of Mediation

The key to mediation is that all issues are agreed upon. If any issue cannot be agreed upon, the parties will have to seek judgment from a court.

Anything discussed or worked out in the mediation is considered confidential and if brought up in court after mediation failed, is nothing more than hearsay and will not be included in the judge’s decision.

A mediation report will be sent to court along with the case. It shows where there was an impasse along with what was agreed upon by each party.

If an impasse is reached then mediation failed and everything worked no longer counts.

If mediation is successful then the mediator will write a mediation agreement and both parties will sign the agreement.

Once this agreement is signed, it will be sent to the court and final judgment given, normally for successful dissolution of the marriage.

How to Find a Good Divorce Mediator

Any divorce attorney should be familiar with a local mediator and will usually give a referral.

If the parties do not want to hire divorce attorneys then a mediator can be referred by a court or even ordered by a court.

If the couple is doing the smart thing and seeking a mediator prior to a court filing then contacting the courthouse should yield some results.

Another place to find a good mediator is through the family law court.

Florida Divorce Mediation Services are abundant.

Check with the local court staff to see if they have local recommendations to attorneys offering mediation services.

No matter the source, review the mediation services offered and do some research before picking the mediator.

An informed decision can make the process much easier.

Overall, the mediation process saves time, money, and a lot of heartache.

Rather than have a judge decide what you should or should not do and then order you to carry out their order, consider having a say in your future.

In the state of Florida, 95 percent of all divorces end in an uncontested manner. When a divorce goes to court, rarely does anyone “win” other than the attorneys.

An uncontested divorce can pass through the courts and be finalized in as little as 30 days.

What About Parenting Classes?

A parenting class is required for all state of Florida dissolution of marriages which involve children.

In some circuits, on-line courses will be accepted upon a showing of some special need, such as disability, military service, or residence in a State where such a course is not available.

Check with the clerk of court to see if a Florida divorce mediation on-line courses are accepted. If not, most circuits have a listing of local providers.

You can get more information by contacting the clerk of court in your county or by checking the telephone directory.

Here are some excellent links to Department of Children and Families approved on-line Parenting Class providers.

ParentingChoice.com

A Positive Divorce Resolution

Positive Parenting Through Divorce

The Eighth Judicial Circuit publishes this page with links to approved providers.
Approved Parenting Classes



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Article by Kenneth Diaz, Florida-Court-Forms.net © 2015-2017
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Page last updated 02/22/2015
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