Our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators at Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. understand that parties to a Florida Dissolution of Marriage case are concerned with how long it will take to resolve their divorce.
Once a party is served, he or she has twenty days to file their “Answer” to the “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.” Then the parties begin exchanging discovery, some of which is mandatory under the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. In addition, each party can propound other discretionary discovery requests. This can take several months to complete and often disputes can arise regarding these discovery requests, which increases the length of time it takes to resolve a divorce.
Often, one of the parties will file motions for temporary support, time-sharing and/or attorney fees. It takes time to respond to these motions and then the timing of the hearing will depend on a Judge’s availability on his or her courtroom schedule.
As you can see, before too long a number of months may have passed without being any closer to reaching a resolution of your divorce. In some Florida divorce cases, our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators believe it is cost and time effective to mediate the issues in your case in an attempt quickly resolve your divorce. This is especially true when neither party has a desire to use litigation strategies to punish the other party or to gain some sort of advantage.
The parties can agree to fully provide all of the discovery that is necessary in order that the parties can attend mediation early in their case after the onset of litigation. This is true regardless of how simple or complex their divorce case is. Some reasons for a party to file their Petition for Dissolution of Marriage prior to mediation can be to provide an incentive to reach a Mediated Settlement prior to an already set hearing date or if there is a desire to establish the cut-date(s) for marital assets and liabilities. Our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators have also seen parties mediate early because they want to settle their case based on what they believe is fair to each other regardless to what they may be entitled to under Florida Family Law Statutes if they allowed a Florida Family Law Judge to settle their divorce.
This decision to mediate early before our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators at Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc., is often achieved after recognizing that having protracted litigation is not in the best interest of themselves or their children. In addition, almost all Florida Family Law cases require the parties attend mediation prior to having a trial. Some Florida Family Law Judges require mediation take place before he or she will set a trial date, so this can also influence the parties to set an early mediation date.
By mediating at an early stage of litigation, the parties are able to ascertain what issues are important to each other and can hopefully resolve their case with the least amount of animosity.