Divorce Mediation

It’s no question divorce proceedings are stressful. Dividing assets and developing post-dissolution plans is frustrating, even if you and your former spouse have an amicable relationship. It’s common for divorcing couples to swing back and forth on the final resolution, which leads to more costs and time spent in attorney’s offices. 

You can choose to bypass this slow legal process by hiring a divorce mediator. Mediation is a way for divorcing couples to formulate a divorce plan in an agreeable manner by using a neutral third party. The divorce mediator will remain impartial and help you overcome any obstacles that hinder you from finding a final resolution. Once the mediation has finished, they can draw up a mediation agreement that’s enforceable by law. 

If you or someone you know may be interested in divorce mediation, then it’s imperative you have legal representation. Your attorney can ensure you have the right mediator, they’re correctly informed of the situation and can advise you throughout the mediation process.

Divorce Attorney for Mediation in Broward County, Florida

Have your divorce proceedings dragged on and on without much progress? Mediation may be the answer you’re looking for. If you or someone you know wishes to schedule a mediation appointment, it’s important you have legal counsel. Your attorney can assess the situation and help you choose the right mediator for your situation. 

Call Bacchus Law Firm to speak to a skilled divorce attorney in the Broward County, Florida area. Nisha E. Bacchus, our managing attorney, has years of experience with mediation cases. She can utilize her knowledge so you can move on from your divorce unscathed. Contact us now at (954) 500-5555 to set up a consultation. 

Bacchus Law Firm represents people throughout the greater Broward County area including Pembroke Pines, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale. 

Overview of Divorce Mediation in Florida

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What Happens in Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a structured way for you and your former spouse to compromise on any disagreements related to the dissolution of your marriage. The process is run by a mediator, whose an impartial party that is obligated to listen to both sides. The mediator is neutral and cannot make decisions for you. Instead, they can clarify areas of disagreement and agreement while offering viable solutions.

Mediation can be voluntary or court-ordered. Many people choose divorce mediation because it’s a much more cost-effective way to dissolve a marriage. In some cases, a judge will order a divorcing couple to participate in mediation before any final proceedings are decided.

During mediation, the mediator should explain both you and your former spouse makes the decisions. They will then open the floor for you and your spouse to voice your concerns. If you have an attorney present, then they may speak for you instead. The mediator may also ask to meet with you and your former spouse privately.

The mediation will end in either three ways:

  • Both you and your spouse reach an agreement and it’s signed in writing;
  • The mediator declares an impasse, which means both you and your former spouse are unwilling to continue mediation; or
  • You and your former spouse select a new mediator and start the process over

If your mediation ends in an impasse, then you’ll have a court date scheduled to resolve your divorce-related issues.

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Advantages of Divorce Mediation in Florida

Dissolving a marriage can result in contentious and sometimes even childish behavior because of miscommunication. Mediation offers divorcing couples a much more cordial way to discuss sensitive matters while still feeling impowered to voice their “side of the story.” In mediation, you are the “decision maker,” and no judge makes any choices for you.

Mediation doesn’t function like a trial or an arbitration. You don’t have to present evidence or argue that something is true because the mediator has already collected that information. Instead, the mediator will attempt to facilitate productive communication between you and your former spouse. The purpose of the mediation is to find a mutually agreed resolution to your divorce proceedings.

Unlike a trial or a hearing, mediations are private and usually confidential. The reason for this is so you and your former spouse can speak freely without fear of others hearing about it. It makes the experience much more private and personal instead of a legal battle. However, there are some exceptions to this rule such as child abuse, elderly abuse or a confession to a crime or criminal attempt.

The best part about mediation is how cost-effective it is. Divorce mediation is a much quicker than the formal trial divorce process. You could save thousands of dollars in court, attorney and filing fees by choosing to pursue mediation. If you and your former spouse have a combined income of $100,000 or less, then the court will provide a reduced rate. 

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Common Myths About Divorce Mediation

Mediation is an alternative for couples who don’t want to pursue the traditional divorce trial process. However, many people have stipulations with the mediation process. Some believe mediation is another way for their former spouse to exploit them and attain more of their assets. Others think mediation is useless and only for couples who despise one another.

Listed below are some common myths associated with mediation and why they’re incorrect.

  • The mediator will make decisions without listening to my side of the story.
    • Mediators CANNOT make any decisions without your permission. The point of a mediator is to listen to both sides and formulate ways to resolve the problem. You are in no way obligated to agree with the mediator or follow their suggestions. The only decisions made during mediation are mutually exclusive to both you and your former spouse.

  • Men fare better than women during the mediation process.
    • A common misconception is that women will struggle during the mediation process. This thought stems from stereotypes about women not understanding finances, marital assets and debts. There is no evidence that men are more successful than women in mediation and if you believe your mediator isn’t listening to your story then you can select a new one.

  • Mediation is only for couples who can’t speak to one another.
    • It’s true that many couples who are at serious odds use mediation to resolve their issues. However, many amicable and friendly couples use mediation because it’s an informal and cheaper process.

  • Me and my spouse can’t be in the same room so we can’t do divorce mediation.
    • It can seem impossible to pursue mediation when you and your spouse can’t speak to one another without yelling. Fortunately, during mediation you will have an impartial person there trained in alternative dispute resolution. Your mediator can create an environment where both of you feel safe speaking without being interrupted or demeaned by the other person. In addition, a mediator can help you get to the source of the issue. It can shed new light on divorce-related disputes and help you and your spouse feel heard.

  • I will get less than I deserve if I go into mediation.
    • Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means your assets, property and debt are divided fairly between you and your spouse if you dissolve your marriage. So, if you choose to divorce by mediation or trial your property will still be divided equitably.

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Additional Resources

Answers to Mediation Questions – Visit the official website of the Florida Courts to learn more about mediation. Access their site to learn what mediation is, how to prepare and frequently asked questions and helpful links for those wishing to pursue mediation.

Filing for Divorce – Visit the official website of Broward County Family Court to learn more about how to file for a dissolution of marriage. Learn the difference between simplified, uncontested or contested dissolution of marriage and the forms needed to file for each.

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Lawyer for Divorce Mediation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

If you are interested in mediation to dissolve your marriage, contact Bacchus Law Firm today. Nisha E. Bacchus is an experienced divorce attorney who can assist you throughout your mediation. She can be present with you, give advice during or before mediation and find a reputable mediator for you.

Call (954) 500-5555 now to schedule a case consultation. Bacchus Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area including Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, and Pompano Beach.

This article was last updated on June 6, 2019.