Mediation is an important step in every family law case. And it’s a better solution than going to trial in almost all cases.
More people are satisfied if they have a say in the outcome.
Trials are expensive, and you never know how a judge is going to rule. It’s better to control your own case rather than have some stranger do it for you.
Also known as Alternative Dispute Resolution, mediation provides a safe way for people to resolve their problems. It is a great forum for outlining differences, and it provides a secure way to discuss everything openly.
Except for a few specific things, everything said in mediation remains confidential.
Nothing can be used in court. And if the mediation has been court ordered, there can be sanctions for violating this rule. This includes paying costs and attorney’s fees. Mediation is always run by a certified Florida Supreme Court approved mediator.
There are several excellent reasons for choosing mediation over a trial:
- First, the parties control the outcome. We have great judges throughout Florida. However, no one usually knows how to better solve matters than the parties themselves. It’s your life, kids, and/or your marriage. Why have a stranger determine everything?
- Second, the parties can be more creative than the statutes allow at trial. At mediation, the parties are free to come up with solutions that may not be “by the book.” They may distribute assets and debts in a way that is fine with them, but which may not be a method allowed in court.
- Third, mediation is much less stressful. Mediation, by far, is a more informal and relaxed process than a trial.
In addition to promoting mediation as an attorney, I also work as a family law mediator. It’s great when you can see people work through differences. But it’s not always easy. People often start with opposite ideas. However, mediation is called a process for a reason. People can hear out their differences. And by talking through their disagreements, they often find a compromise.