Mediation can be a Win, Win for Both Parties
In many states, including Florida, mediation is required for most cases before the case can be scheduled for a court date. This is done for a variety of reasons which, in the end, if mediation is successful, can be a win, win for both parties. Mediation is where both parties and their attorneys try to agree on the outcome of the case in question. A trained mediator, often an attorney, will keep the conversations on track and remind the parties how important it is to seriously consider compromise in order to resolve the issues. Taking a look, for example, at a mediation in Florida designed to amicably end a marriage, we can explore the reasons why mediation is a win, win.
- When a divorce (dissolution of marriage) goes to court, there are many more costs than the cost for mediation. Instead of one or both parties having to pay large amounts of money to an attorney, the cost of mediation is split equally between the couple. Sometimes the money saved can be more than the cost of the whole case.
- The couple can, in mediation, decide for themselves how such things as division of assets and liabilities and alimony will take place. When a divorce case goes before a judge, the judge will be the one deciding who gets what and who pays for what. Florida is an equitable distribution state, so a judge, who is human and has bad as well as good days, will determine the outcome. Of course, the idea is to make the distribution as fair as possible, but often a judge’s point of view is not the way a husband or wife would see it.
- When a couple has determined their marriage is over, they want to finalize the divorce as quickly as possible to be able to move on with their life. Unfortunately, Family Law Courts are backed up with cases sometimes for months. And, since COVID, the backup is even longer. The best way to speed up divorce is to agree during mediation and successfully create a marital agreement. Setting a date for mediation takes a few weeks rather than the months required to set a court date. And, once the marital agreement is signed by both parties, witnessed, and notarized, a judge will review the document and, in most cases, grant the divorce. Weeks instead of months to finalize a divorce is certainly a win, win for each spouse. (There is an exception when one spouse doesn’t want the divorce).
- Another advantage of mediation is the transcript of the mediation is private information available to only the clients and their attorneys. However, the transcript of a court appearance is public information and can be read by requesting the recording of all that took place as recorded by the court recorder.
A couple is wise to take a serious look at mediation as the best way to handle a divorce. Time and money are important, and both entities can be shortened when mediation is successful and a marital agreement is reached. Attorney Grant Gisondo, a successful Family Law attorney for over a decade, offers a free, initial, in-office consultation to answer your questions regarding mediation. If you are planning a Florida divorce and live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County, Attorney Gisondo can help. He also practices in Washington DC and New York. You can make an appointment by calling (561) 530-4568. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5: PM and for new clients on Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.