At Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc., our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators have mediated several cases where one or both parties tried their case at mediation and were successful in reaching a mediated settlement agreement. This can be a very good strategy and it is much less expensive than going to trial as well as less stressful.
If you go to trial in a Florida Family Law case, most likely you have the expense of a court reporter, fees for expert witnesses, copy fees for trial notebooks for a judge, and fees for preparing exhibits, just to name a few. In addition, you must coordinate your witnesses which sometimes can create major headaches since it requires witnesses to miss work and/or find alternatives for child care. Then you have the uncertainty of how a Florida Family Law Judge will rule in your case.
By “trying your case at mediation” our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators don’t mean that you would have witnesses take the stand and testify. Since there are no rules of evidence, you can use hearsay to back up your arguments as to issues that exist in your Florida Family Law Dissolution of Marriage. By hearsay, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. means that a party can use witness affidavits, deposition transcripts, emails, text messages, financial records, medical records, reports from experts and school records if there are children involved. At a trial, you would have to have a legal basis in order to introduce the above listed documents and some of them may be inadmissible in a Florida Family Law Courtroom, but all of these documents can be used at a mediation.
In using depositions and financial records, it is possible to put together an accurate Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit for both parties that can now be used to prove to the opposing party why your Equitable Distribution scheme is fair to both parties; whether or not a request for spousal support is appropriate; and/or calculate a parties Florida Guideline Child Support obligation. Depositions, witness affidavits, and school records can be used to prove to the other party how the factors in Florida Statute 61.13 support your proposed Florida Parenting Plan. A party can prepare Federal Tax Returns that shows the other party the different consequences and/or benefits for each party depending on which party gets to claim the federal tax exemption for their children.
If one or both parties are self-employed, they understand the dynamics of how their business(es) operate, what personal expenses are paid by the business, how a party is paid, etc. During a trial, a lot of money and time can be spent using expert witnesses to educate a Florida Family Law Judge on these issues. If experts are being used, our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators have seen mediations where one or both parties use expert reports and depositions to convince the other to accept his or her position as to valuation or income received from the business.
If you are interested in trying your Florida Family Law case at mediation, please contact Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc.