1. Mediation is required in ALL cases involving children in Florida. If you cannot settle your case without mediation, you will be required to attend.
2. Not all mediators are created equal, just like anything else there are good mediators, mediocre mediators and bad mediators. Chose wisely, ask questions, it is an IMPORTANT decision.
3. Mediators are neutral problem solvers. Finding one who has a background in the area of law you are trying to resolve is essential to that mediator's ability to problem solve solutions to those types of legal issues.
4. Mediators can be lawyers, accountants and even therapist. They are NOT Judges and cannot make decisions about your case.
5. You can attend mediation before a case is been filed in an effort to resolve the issue before it every reaches the Courts.
6. You can attend mediation with or without lawyers and mediators can help you resolve your issues without lawyers present or on your own.
7. Usually when lawyers are involved it is AFTER the case is filed but this is NOT always true. Typically, the lawyer picks the mediators, BUT you are ALLOWED to request a mediator!
8. If you reach an agreement at mediation it is drafted that day and once signed becomes binding and very difficult to get out of. Sign with caution.
9. Mediation regularly lasts 6-8 hours in family law cases, even longer. Plan on being there most of the day.
10. It is not abnormal for a mediator to keep the parties separate throughout the mediation. It is also not uncommon for parties to be together, a good mediator will read the situation and pick a n approach most likely to result in an agreement - after our settling you case is the goal and is ALWAYS the best option when possible.