Often parties to a Florida Family Law case will participate in mediation with a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator because they want to resolve the issues involved in their dispute, but are unable to completely agree on all of the terms.
A mediator will try to assist the parties to take the time to listen to each other as well as keep both parties focused on trying to come to a resolution. In mediation, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. assists both parties to openly discuss the issues involved in the dispute in a more comfortable and less sterile setting than a courtroom. A mediator helps you and your husband or wife explore mutually acceptable resolutions of your dispute. More importantly, if you and your spouse get stuck on certain issues, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. will help restart the discussions and negotiations in a new way to assist the two on you to see the issues from a different perspective and help you move forward.
At Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc., the major goal of mediation is to come to a resolution of the issues that are involved in your Florida Family Law case. If you reach an agreement at mediation, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. drafts a document which is commonly referred to as a “Meditated Settlement Agreement”. This agreement is then signed by both parties and their respective attorneys.
If your family law dispute involves minor children that were born to the parties, then a “Parenting Plan” will be a part of the Mediated Settlement Agreement. Florida Statute § 61.13 informs us that the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration in creating the terms of a Parenting Plan which is required to be entered by the Florida Family Law Judge who signs your Final Judgment. Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. has the ability to run a child support guideline worksheet that is based upon the income of both parties as well as childcare expenses and the cost of health insurance and include the child support obligation of the parties in the Mediated Settlement Agreement.
Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. will also make sure that all of the non-child related issues which are involved in your Florida Family Law dispute are addressed in the Mediated Settlement Agreement. These issues include determining what are marital versus nonmarital assets and liabilities; and then equitably dividing each asset and liability. In addition, the Mediated Settlement Agreement needs to address whether or not spousal support and/or attorney fees are awarded to one of the parties. Another issue that needs to be addressed is the potential division of federal tax return deficiencies or refunds.
In addition to dividing personal and real property, a Mediated Settlement Agreement that is made part of Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage alone is not enough to legally divide current retirement benefits or even designate future benefits that are tied up in a retirement plan. Since retirement benefits may have significant federal income tax consequences, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. recognizes that in order for retirement benefits to be properly divided, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required and the Mediated Settlement Agreement will address who is responsible to have the QDRO drawn up.
Then the only step necessary is for a Florida Family Law Judge to approve your agreement and incorporate it as part of a Final Judgment that brings your case to conclusion.