Mediation FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions About Mediations in Florida
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.
Attorney Boles charges $250.00 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.
A mediation can typically last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the complexity of the issues at hand and the parties ability to come to an agreement. If the parties settle all their issues then the settlement agreement can be drafted and provided to both parties the same day.
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.
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 substantial in litigation.
Nearly every family law matter is suitable for mediation, such as cases involving divorce, paternity, child custody, and child support.
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.
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.
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.
Once the mediation agreement is signed by both parties it becomes a legally enforceable contract.
There is no mandate for the parties to come to an agreement during mediation. A mediator cannot force any party to sign an agreement.
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.
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.