Change a Mediation Agreement

by Bo from Florida

During our mediation session, I was "backed into a corner" by both my counsel and the mediator. They urged me to split all marital debts 50/50 with my ex.

They both said that the judge would do that anyway even with my ex making twice as much as I do.

Also my counsel hinted at the fact that she might be more agreeable when it came to visitation and child support, which was definitely not the case.

Now I'm hampered with all this debt that I cant afford and I can't declare bankruptcy because of the "hold harmless" clause in the mediation agreement.

Answer to Florida Court Forms Question

Dear Bo,

You might try to modify or "set aside" your mediation agreement.

Set aside essentially means having the court dismiss or invalidate the mediation agreement.

Or you might try to go back to your lawyer and tell him he needs to fix the situation that he helped create.

I feel your pain, and I don't mean to sound unsympathetic.

I would like everyone to realize that mediation can be a wonderful thing, but if you don't agree with it, then don't go along with it. I have to question your statement that you cannot declare bankruptcy because of the "hold harmless" clause in the mediation agreement.

Maybe it states that, but what prevents you from bankrupting your debts? In my experience, creditors do not care who pays the debt as long as they get their money.

And from the creditor's standpoint, you are both joint and severally liable for joint debt.

Only a federal bankruptcy judge can decide the validity of such an agreement when it comes to your debts.

Creditors are very unlikely to concern themselves with the wording in your Final Order for Dissolution. That is an agreement between you and your soon to be ex.

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