Boca Raton Mediation Lawyer
Resolve Your Florida Divorce Quicker and Better through Family Mediation
Not every dispute needs to be resolved in court. In many cases, even where parties disagree at the outset, coming together with the help of a trained facilitator can allow the parties to resolve their differences among themselves. Although not for every party or every dispute, mediation can offer effective, affordable solutions to your family law matters. Learn more about family mediation below, and call the Boca Raton mediation lawyers at Wise Lieberman, PLLC to discuss whether mediation is an option in your divorce, child custody dispute or other family law matter.
What is Family Mediation?
Mediation is a way for parties to come together and discuss their areas of disagreement with the goal of resolving their differences. The mediation is directed by a mediator, who is an individual trained in the art of getting people to communicate with each other and reach agreement on contested issues. A mediation can even be successful in cases where the parties initially are not talking to one another. A mediator will not offer legal advice and generally won’t take a position one way or the other on a particular issue, except perhaps to point out strengths and weaknesses of different positions and highlight potential areas for agreement or compromise.
At the conclusion of a successful mediation, the parties or the mediator will draw up a settlement agreement that both parties can sign. This agreement is then brought to court and reviewed by the judge. Once approved by the court, the agreement is incorporated into a final judgement and is enforceable as a court order. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the parties can proceed to litigate their differences in court, but with a better understanding of the outstanding issues and potential areas of agreement.
Why Mediate a Divorce?
For one thing, it’s required. Florida family courts require the parties to attempt mediation before the court will hold any temporary relief hearings and before trial. Palm Beach County’s 15th Judicial Circuit maintains a program of family mediation in divorce, paternity and child custody cases. If the parties have a combined income up to $100,000, they can use the court’s staff mediators for only a few hundred dollars. For combined incomes over $100,000, the parties need to hire a private mediator. Broward County has a similar program as well.
Even if not required, mediation offers many advantages over litigation. First of all, mediation is typically much quicker than litigation. A mediation can be scheduled at any time and usually concluded in a day or two, whereas court hearings are subject to the packed schedules of courtrooms, where it can take months to get a hearing. Since mediation is faster than litigation, it is typically cheaper as well.
If you are taking your case to court, the judge will decide what the final outcome will be and will impose a decision on both parties. In mediation, the parties work together to solve their problems. A mediated solution therefore is often more flexible and creative than one that comes from the court, and since both parties were invested in creating the agreement, each party is more likely to implement it voluntarily. This means there is less likelihood you will have to return to court in the future for enforcement of court orders.
Finally, mediation is private, as opposed to a court hearing, which is open to the public and a matter of public record. If keeping the terms of your divorce or your financial situation confidential is important to you, then you should seriously consider mediation instead of litigation.
Our Boca Raton Mediation Lawyers are Ready to Mediate or Litigate Your Divorce
Mediation may not work for everyone. Both parties need to be willing to come together in a spirit of compromise or at least willing to listen to the other side, and to discuss their interests rather than just sticking to a particular position. Additionally, some disputes may be so complex that they are better suited to litigation with its discovery tools and other legal processes.
Start by calling Wise Lieberman, PLLC for a confidential consultation regarding your divorce. We’ll let you know whether you are more likely to benefit from mediation, litigation or other means of dispute resolution. Whatever your needs and best options, we’ll be there for you with able and efficient representation. Call 561-488-7788 for a consultation at our offices in Boca Raton and Plantation.