It would be something of a misstatement to say that a divorce will proceed exactly how a person envisions or that it will somehow be entirely free of surprises. Indeed, while a spouse might enter divorce proceedings expecting a lengthy and bitter legal battle, they may actually find themselves sitting across a table from their soon-to-be ex thanks to court-ordered mediation.
In today’s post, the first in a series, we’ll take a closer look at divorce mediation in order to provide those couples who find themselves in this situation with more information and to illustrate to those contemplating divorce how it can prove to be a viable option.
In general, mediation involves spouses and their attorneys coming together to resolve their divorce in a non-adversarial setting outside of the courtroom in as many sessions as prove necessary.
These sessions, in turn, are run by a third party mediator who is certified by the Florida Supreme Court. What this means is that the mediator will not only conduct the mediation sessions in accordance with state law, but also abide by rules that expressly require them to 1) maintain complete neutrality, 2) work for the benefit of both parties at all times and 3) never force either side into reaching an agreement.
While it’s understandable how people might have some initial hesitation about the mediation process, it’s important to understand that, absent very special circumstances, all matters discussed during mediation sessions remain confidential, such that they can only be repeated in sessions by the parties present.
We’ll continue to discuss divorce mediation in our next post, including a discussion of its advantages and the types of issues it can help separating couples resolve.
If you would like to learn more about divorce mediation or other divorce alternatives, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.