Prior to mediating your Family Law dispute before a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator such as Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc., it is extremely important that you are prepared for mediation.
If you are not represented by an attorney, you should at least obtain a consultation with an experienced Florida Family Law attorney. An attorney can provide you with his or her opinion about how your dispute could potentially be resolved if you were going to have a trial before a Family Law Judge. By speaking with an attorney, you will most likely learn the value of your case and then at mediation you are able to make an informed decision about settling your dispute.
It is Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc.’s experience that a husband or wife who has never consulted with an attorney with respect to family law issues may have unreasonable expectations about what they are entitled to receive in a settlement. These “expectations” can be counter-productive to resolving your dispute at mediation. In addition, a mediator is not allowed to provide either party with any legal advice to either party.
Further, an attorney can assist you in understanding what the real issues are in your family law case. That way, you can determine what issues are the most important and/or least to you. It is also good to try and determine which issues are really important to your spouse or former partner.
Another key to a successful mediation is being organized and this is true even if you are represented by a Florida Family Law attorney. In many Family Law cases, both spouses have a lot of financial records. These records can show the values of bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and retirement accounts. You may also have records to show that the other side is hiding marital assets. For each of your financial accounts, you may want to have a current statement in one folder. That way if values become an issue, you can quickly provide Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. with documents that support your position.
At Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc., we have found it extremely helpful when parties arrive with a spreadsheet that values all assets, along with any documents necessary to show how the party arrived at a valuation.
While it is important that you write down your specific goals, make sure that they are realistic because mediation can be a negotiation which usually has some give and take by each party. In setting your goals and expectations, you should be reasonable and be flexible with a willingness to listen to the other side’s reasoning; otherwise your mediation may end without a resolution.
On the date of your mediation, make sure you know where you are going and what parking is available. Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. has conducted mediations where the parties quickly resolve their dispute as well as mediations that have gone on for more time than expected. If you have children who must be cared for, you should make arrangements for someone to care for them just in case your mediation takes more time than expected.
If you are fully prepared for your mediation, it is likely that you won’t end up with a settlement agreement that you don’t like.