Many people don’t realize that a married couple who are planning to get divorced are able to mediate all of their issues before either of them files a petition for dissolution of marriage. Our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators at Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. have found that when parties mediate prior to filing for divorce, the whole process is a lot less adversarial and often the two individuals depart the mediation on friendly terms. It is also less stressful since there is no anticipation of “when will I be served.”
When the process is non-adversarial, a husband and wife can sit across the table from other and come up with a division of their assets and liabilities that is fair to both of them; and if minor children are involved – they can also come up with a parenting plan that is truly in the best interest of the children – not of the parents. Although a mediator is not allowed to decide which spouse is right or wrong or provide you with legal advice or even tell you how to resolve the issues that are involved in your case, our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators can guide both spouses through the issues to assist you in trying to resolve your divorce. When both parties are willing to mediate their dissolution of marriage prior to filing, it is our experience that each party shows up at mediation with an expectation that they were going to leave with a Mediated Settlement Agreement. That type of expectation makes for a smooth mediation that more than likely will be successful.
In addition, the divorce process can be a lot less expensive. At Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc., our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators have found that in this scenario most are unrepresented by legal counsel so there are no attorney fees. While there still is a fee to file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Clerk of Court, there is not a fee for filing a Counter-Petition or for hiring a process server because neither of these are necessary..
If the parties resolve all of their issues at mediation, there is only one court appearance which lasts about five minutes where a Florida Family Law Judge grants a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Further, the parties won’t have to complete a Request for Production or answer the Florida Standard Interrogatories. There also won’t be depositions which require parties to miss work or other personal activities. Since mediation is normally required in all Florida Family Law cases, you are doing something that you would have been ordered to anyway.
If you have any questions about how to proceed with a mediation prior to filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, please contact Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc.