Some Florida couples will opt for or be ordered by a judge to use the process of mediation to resolve the issues in their divorce. Mediation does not work for all parties, and some couples will need to head back to court. However, mediation does provide many benefits for divorcing spouses.
During mediation, the spouses meet together with a mediator, to discuss the issues that have come up in their divorce process to attempt to come to an agreement. The mediator is an impartial party to the proceedings and can meet with the parties together and individually. The session usually begins with the mediator explaining their role and the purpose of the process. This is followed by having each of the spouses present their own views and concerns and then moves on to the negotiations to resolve the issues.
When a mediation session occurs, there are three possible results. These include:
- The spouses reach an agreement and sign a document which becomes an enforceable court order
- The spouses agree to continue with another mediation session the next day
- The spouses cannot reach an agreement on some or all issues, the mediator declares an impasse and the couple heads back to court so the judge can decide the outcome
Benefits of mediation
Mediation can promote the interests of both spouses. The process allows the spouses to communicate openly and to attempt to understand the root of the issues. As well, it allows the spouses to find flexible solutions to their issues. It can provide confidentiality about many of the topics the couples need to discuss. Finally, it can be a less costly and faster divorce process.
Mediation might be an option that works for you. However, as with any divorce process, it is important to be prepared, gathering supporting evidence and documents, before the session begins.