Benefits Of Mediation In Florida Family Law Cases
While divorce and issues related to minor children do involve official legal proceedings, it is not always necessary for every decision in a family law case to be decided in the courtroom. The parties might choose to resolve their differences through mediation, and Florida law requires mediation under most circumstances. In short, the process involves sitting down with a mediator who is specially trained to encourage productive conversation and facilitate an agreement between the parties.
As you can probably guess, two important advantages are time and cost: Contested hearings on family law issues are like a full-blown trial, and mediation is a way of avoiding litigation. A Dade City mediation lawyer can advise you on whether it is the right fit for your situation, but some additional benefits include:
Parties can craft creative solutions.
If you take a family law case to court, the judge must apply all statutory law, case precedent, and court procedural rules to render a finding. When you participate in mediation, you can develop an arrangement that suits your family’s unique needs and goals. You have control over the process instead of being subject to strict laws. Plus, you can cover a wide range of family law matters in mediation, including:
- Property division and visitation in divorce;
- Child custody and visitation, though the arrangement must comply with the child’s best interests;
- Child support, which still must be approved by the court if it deviates from statutory requirements.
Note that mediation may not be appropriate in situations of domestic violence.
Your voice is heard in mediation.
In court proceedings, it is often the attorneys and judge who do most of the talking. In mediation, the mediator works directly with the parties, so you will get the chance to express your objectives and concerns. You will even be able to voice your opinion on options for resolving the dispute. It is also helpful for divorcing spouses and parents to learn each other’s perspective, which can help you get closer to resolution.
You set the stage for the future.
Whether you resolve child-related issues in mediation or court, parents will need to interact with each other after the proceedings conclude – sometimes for years when the children are younger. The difference is that, with mediation, the parties tend to walk away on an amicable basis, making future interactions easier.
Trials are stressful.
The idea of testifying in court can be unnerving, yet you will be put on the witness stand during a trust. It can even be stressful to sit in the courtroom as the other party presents evidence contrary to your position. Mediation is less formal and more of a conversation among the parties instead of an adversarial proceeding.
A Florida Mediation Attorney Can Explain Details About the Process
If you would like more information about the benefits of mediation in a Florida family law case, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane. You can set up a consultation at our Dade City location by calling 352-567-0055 or completing an online contact form. After we assess your circumstances, we can explain how the advantages would serve your unique objectives.