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The Do’s and Don’ts of Florida Divorce Mediation

In recent years, divorces in the US have been on the decline, partly because of the pandemic and the reduced access to services it brought with it. However, the raw number of separations is still shocking. According to the most recent National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data, Americans initiated nearly 700 thousand divorces in one year, wiping out close to half of the marriage gains.

If you are beginning the process of divorce proceedings, you will quickly enter a complicated world of legalese, restrictions, and negotiations. Florida courts usually require separating couples to undergo mediation as part of their separation.

The future of your child visitation rights, assets, and financial freedom is at stake whenever you and your former spouse cannot reach a healthy agreement in a contentious divorce. At Brassil Law Firm, our family law and divorce attorneys have over two decades of experience representing clients going through messy divorces in the North Florida area. Contact us today for a free consultation and discussion about how we can help you in the divorce negotiation process.

Florida Divorce Mediation Explained

In simple terms, divorce mediation is an organized meeting and negotiation with the aim of helping couples amicably split their property and future childcare responsibilities. Courts can mandate mediation if they believe that further discussions can fix the problem without requiring a judge or jury to decide aspects of the divorce.

Mediators oversee mediation, and their goal is to help both parties clearly state their needs, wants, and concerns without letting emotions get in the way. Mediators may be court-appointed or a neutral third party that both sides agree upon. Mediators are often:

  • Former judges
  • Former attorneys
  • Current attorneys uninvolved with the case
  • Professional mediators
  • Family and divorce law experts

As opposed to arbitration, mediators that oversee mediation do not have the final say. If either party refuses all agreements or does not cooperate, the divorce can continue and go before a court.

However, mediators with a background in the legal system are highly preferred due to the insight they can provide. While you might think your arguments and reasoning are rock solid, a former judge has much more experience dealing with divorces than you. Mediators can inform you of your chances in court and the legal precedents that might affect your case.

How Can I Succeed in Florida Mediation?

First and foremost, legal representation is of utmost importance during any divorce proceeding. Mediation is not in a courtroom, but the ramifications of the negotiation you reach with your former spouse will be with you for the rest of your life. Experienced divorce lawyers have completed dozens or hundreds of these meetings and will know what kind of concessions you can expect to receive based on your situation.

Lawyers also act and speak on your behalf, which can extend to the entirety of the mediation process. Depending on the mediator, you and your spouse may leave to different rooms in order to freely talk about your concerns. But no matter the mediation method, you do not have to speak if you don't want to. Divorces are often highly emotional and challenging for all parties involved. Attorneys let you focus on you and your personal needs as they handle the legal negotiations playing out.

Mediators are not judges who can make a ruling on the spot, but depending on what they hear, they might recommend an outcome that is not in your favor. There are also many things that you should not say during a meditation proceeding, including:

  • Threats against the mediator or your spouse
  • Details that can paint you in a bad light, such as crimes, infidelity, and sensitive personal information
  • Your intention to waste time or negotiate in bad faith

Mediation will not solve every problem arising in a messy divorce, but it is often the best option for courts to handle large volumes of cases quickly.

Contact a North Florida Divorce Attorney Today

You deserve legal representation that puts you on the best path toward a bright future in this new chapter of your life. At Brassil Law Firm, our family law and divorce attorneys are well-known and respected in our community for fighting tenaciously for our client's rights.

Don't take on the legal system alone. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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