Reaching mutual agreements outside of the court system
Mediation is a voluntary process through which you make decisions with your spouse or partner based upon an understanding of each other’s views, and the realities you both face.
A professional mediator facilitates the discussions but does not give legal advice or make decisions for you and your spouse or partner. The mediator may, however, make suggestions of how the various issues in dispute can be resolved.
How Mediation works
The mediator meets with you and your spouse to identify issues, exchange information, and use problem-solving techniques to come to a mutually acceptable agreement.
There are two options available in Mediation:
- Attorney assisted mediation: You and your spouse each have a lawyer to advise you before and during mediation.
- Parties only mediation: You and your spouse may have an attorney, but attorneys do not attend the mediation.
Family-centered conflicts that can be resolved through mediation include:
- Parenting and timesharing
- Division of assets and liabilities
- Spousal and child support
- Paternity actions
- Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial issues
- Parent-teen conflicts
- Disputes between a non-married couple
Benefits of Mediation
- You set the pace. The process can move as quickly or as slowly as you and your spouse choose and you are not restricted by the availability of a court calendar.
- Court Involvement is minimized. Everyone agrees to reach an agreement outside of a courtroom.
- You create workable solutions. The process gives you the freedom and opportunity to craft more creative solutions than are available through the court system.
- You remain in control. In a typical litigation scenario, the court imposes a solution that could be assigned to thousands of other families. Through mediation, you and your spouse work with the mediator to hand craft a resolution that is customized k specifically for you, your spouse and your children.
- You save resources. Mediation is generally less costly and time-consuming than litigation.
- You enjoy confidentiality. Mediation proceedings remain private.
Robert Merlin is certified by the Florida Supreme Court in Family Mediation. He is available to mediate family disputes of all types, whether the parties come to him without attorneys or he is brought into the matter by the parties’ attorneys.