You know it's time for a divorce, but you're not quite sure how to proceed. One thing you should know is that during all divorce proceedings soon to be ex-spouses will have to attend mediation. So... what exactly is mediation?
Mediation is a process where both parties meet with a neutral mediator who has been certified by the Supreme Court. The mediator will assist the parties in coming to an agreement on all issues in their case, including distribution of marital assets & liabilities, time-sharing with children, child support, alimony, and attorney fees.
A divorcing couple can hire a mediator on their own and forgo legal representation during the process. From a family law perspective, this is not typically the best option. There are many things to be divided amongst a couple during the divorce process. Sometimes things are missed without the involvement of a knowledgable family law attorney. Some couples forgo legal representation to save money, but end up spending more in the long run to correct poor mediation agreements.
One of the shortcomings to bypassing legal representation during mediation proceedings is that you may hire a mediator that is ill informed. This could lead to huge issues down the line in the event agreements are made that aren't legally binding. One example of this would be the improper distribution of real property (i.e. marital home and/or real estate that the couple may own). In that case, you have no way to enforce such an agreement through the courts later on if your ex-spouse doesn't hold up their end of the agreement.
By hiring a knowledgable family law attorney, you will have someone in your corner that communicates your wishes in a way that not only the mediator understands, but that the court will recognize. A family law attorney may also be able to point out issues that you may not have thought of that need to be addressed before the final court ruling. A mediator is a neutral party and has no stake in the outcome of the agreement. A family law attorney is there for you and will ensure the best outcome for you as their client.
Mediation is inevitable. A successful mediation outcome is best accomplished by hiring an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the divorce process from beginning to end. Nobody wants to have to return to court later to revisit old topics that weren't properly decided. Hire a trusted family law attorney so that your case can be settled correctly the first time.
Max Factor, Attorney at Law, P.A. focuses on divorce law, family law, and insurance law. They are based Tallahassee, Florida. Max Factor can help with divorce matters, child custody, alimony, mediation, separation, property division, child support matters, high-net worth divorce, and storm damage claims. He is licensed in the state of Florida and Georgia. To learn more about Max and his team, visit maxfactorlaw.com/contact_us/ and send us your information - we are here to help.