Family Matters Law Group P.A.
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Mediation in Family Law Cases Part I

Mediation is required in most family law cases which involve children in Florida, including divorces. It is a process where the parties come together with the help of their attorneys (if they have attorneys) and a neutral 3rd person called a mediator. the purpose is to attempt to work out an agreement as to all or some of the issues. In most family cases mediation will come about 1/2 way through a case. As an attorney, I prefer to mediate earlier in cases, because, if parties are inclined to settle, settling early can decrease total attorney's fees, animosity between the parties and chaos in the family. It also provides valuable information on the case for both sides.

Mediation is a confidential process.  Anything revealed in mediation cannot be used in any future hearing. All people attending must sign confidentiality agreements and cannot discuss the details of what is said or what is offered in mediation. The reason for this is we want parties to feel conformable being honest with one another and negotiating without the threat that their statements or offers will later be used against them.

Mediators typically are attorneys but may also be accountants or therapist by trade. It is important that a mediator is familiar with the family legal system and family law issues so that they may assist the parties in thinking outside of the box and being creative in an effort to reach a compromise. A good mediator does not provide legal advice or tell the parties what they should or shouldn't do, but instead, listens to each side's needs and assists the parties in thinking creatively to reach an agreement that they can both be at peace with.

Mediation tend to be a lengthy process in family law cases lasting from 3 hours to often time 8+ hours. It is typically held in the mediator's or attorney's office. Often times the parties are kept separated in different rooms, though sometimes the parties remain together. The general rule is that what is said in one room to a mediator can be revealed to the other side, but most mediators will honor a request not to reveal such information. Most frequently only the parties and their attorneys, if any, will participate, though sometimes a third party such as a friend, family member or occasionally even an accountant or therapist may attend as well.

Mediation can be a valuable and powerful tool in family cases, when parties a well prepared and understand the alternatives to settlement clearly.

Our law firm provides mediation services as well as represents parties at mediation. Contact us for free consultation and see other blog posting on this topic on our website.

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Family Matters Law Group P.A.
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Plantation, FL 33317

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