Frequently Asked Questions About Mediations in Florida
How much does mediation cost?
Attorney Boles charges $300.00 per hour for mediation sessions and for drafting the marital settlement agreement and court documents. The total cost of your mediation will depend on the length of your mediation session and the time to draft your agreement. There is a two (2) hour minimum cost for all mediations. Full payment from the parties is due upon the conclusion of the mediation. Pro Se parties will be asked to pay the minimum fee at least seven (7) days prior to the mediation date.
Do I need an attorney at mediation for my divorce?
No. Couples are not required to be represented by an attorney during the mediation process. A couple can choose to have a mediator settle all issues related to the divorce prior to filing. Attorney Boles will draft your settlement agreement for you to file with the Court.
How long does a mediation last?
A mediation can typically last anywhere from a few hours to a full day. In some cases, depending on the complexity of the issues at hand and the parties ability to come to an agreement they can extend to a few days. Once the parties settle all their issues, the settlement agreement can be drafted and provided to both parties the same day.
Are there advantages to mediation?
Mediation is generally less costly than resolving a dispute through the traditional court system. The greatest advantage for most clients is the satisfaction of having input in resolving their issues rather than having a judge make their personal decisions for them.
Are there advantages to using an attorney for my mediation?
Attorney Boles has litigated family law cases exclusively and uses this knowledge and experience to draw on when conducting mediations. Having an attorney serve as a mediator provides the parties courtroom knowledge and insights into current trends and the manner in which Courts are viewing certain legal issues. This understanding can save all parties involved substantially in litigation fees.
Which types of cases are eligible for mediation?
Nearly every family law matter is suitable for mediation. Cases involving divorce, paternity, child custody, and child support are all able to work utilize the mediation process.
Who can participate in the mediation process?
All parties involved in the legal dispute are able to participate in mediation. The number can range from two parties, (such as a Husband/Wife or Mother/Father) to any number of people (if there are more than two litigants). If the parties have retained attorneys, they may also attend the mediation to advise their clients during the process and on the final terms of the agreement once reached.
Do I have to attend mediation in my divorce case?
It is a requirement in the state of Florida in all family cases that the parties attend a mediation conference. The Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure requires the parties to go to mediation. This occurs prior to any temporary relief can be granted by the court and a final hearing or trial being held in the case.
What is the role of the mediator?
The mediator is a neutral party whose goal is to help the parties find a resolution to their personal issues and concerns. Any agreement must be reached by consent of all parties involved. Mediators will not take sides or give legal advice to any of the parties involved in the mediation.
Is the mediation settlement legally binding?
Once the mediation agreement is signed by both parties it becomes a legally enforceable contract.
Do I have to sign an agreement during the mediation process?
There is no mandate for the parties to come to an agreement during mediation. A mediator cannot force any party to sign an agreement.
What is the next step once both parties agree to settle?
The mediator prepares a settlement agreement that is reviewed and then signed by all parties involved in the process. The agreement is then submitted to the court for a judge’s review and approval. Ultimately it will be prepared and entered as a Final Judgment.
If we can’t come to an agreement, what happens next?
When the parties cannot reach a final agreement during the process, sometimes the mediator will suggest signing a partial settlement and continuing discussions to a later date. If the parties cannot agree it will be declared an impasse and continue through the court system.
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