How To Prepare For Florida Divorce Mediation
Barring domestic violence or other circumstances that would make it inappropriate, almost every Florida divorce case will go through mediation to resolve outstanding disputes between the parties before they can ever schedule a court appearance. Even parties who can generally agree on property, alimony, and children might need assistance defining the specifics. Mediation is an effective tool for setting well-defined parameters on many issues and getting them closer together on compromise, instead of needing to resort to time-consuming, costly litigation. Fortunately, the Florida Courts website offers useful information and answers to frequently asked questions about mediation, so you have an idea of what to expect.
Planning will always give you an advantage in a legal matter, and divorce mediation is no different. Though your Dade City mediation lawyer will take the lead from a strategy standpoint, you should review a few tasks and factors to consider in preparation for the proceeding.
Do Not Approach Mediation as a Win-Lose Scenario
Mediation is about solving problems, achieving common goals where possible, and smoothing over conflicts in a way that enables both parties to move forward in a positive direction. Avoid viewing the process as a game that you must win at all costs to defeat your spouse.
Focus on the Topics You Will Be Addressing
Most couples will face issues related to property division and alimony in divorce, and those with parents must also consider child custody, visitation, and support. Still, the focus of your mediation is areas where you do not agree. Mentally prepare yourself to keep those issues separate. Do not clutter your thoughts with matters that have been resolved.
Be Prepared to Clearly Communicate
You will be in close consultation with your attorney about your goals and position, but it will be up to you to express these views at times during mediation. If the parties do one-on-one sessions with the mediator, you will be expected to communicate your objectives and vision for resolving disputes.
Appreciate the “Normal”
It can be difficult to negotiate with your soon-to-be-ex, but remind yourself that the complex emotions you are going through are normal. You do NOT need to put on a smile or pretend to get along. There will be challenges, and you should not allow them to take over the mediation process.
Consult with Your Attorney About What to Bring
There may be documents that are relevant to the mediation process, and much of this information will already be exchanged between the parties and/or presented to the mediator. If there are additional items that will play a role in mediation, you may need to gather paperwork as directed by your lawyer.
Trust Your Florida Divorce Mediation Attorney for Specifics
If you are contemplating divorce or are a party to a pending case, it is important to understand the role that mediation plays in the process. For more information on our legal services in Florida divorce, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane in Dade City. You can set up a consultation by calling 352-567-0055 or filling out an online form.