Frequently Asked Questions | Mediation
Divorce lawyers in Boca Raton, FL are happy to answer all of your questions regarding mediation and divorce. Review the following information to decide if mediation is appropriate for you.
What is mediation?
Mediation is an alternative approach to divorce. It is a voluntary process that allows divorcing spouses to discuss their issues in order to reach a solution. They are accompanied by a neutral mediator throughout the process who is responsible for supervising and/or facilitating the (often difficult) conversations.
What is negotiation?
Negotiation is a way to settle differences. It is a process that is also utilized during the divorce mediation process. It allows individuals to place their needs at the center of discussion, so that a conflict can be addressed. Negotiation often includes compromise, but each party gains the best possible outcome.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation is a cost-effective approach to divorce. It is less time consuming than traditional divorce proceedings. It encourages healthy communication between divorcing spouses which may improve the relationship and conflict management in the future. It is private and facilitated by a neutral party. We have found that most couples enjoy mediation because they are in control of the terms and conditions of the divorce, as opposed to a judge. If you are interested in mediation, a Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you weigh both the pros and the cons.
What is the role of the mediator?
The mediator is synonymous to a supervisor. He/she is present during all of the mediation meetings and helps to facilitate the discussion between the spouses. The mediator is neutral, only intervening when it is absolutely necessary. Once the divorcing couple reaches an agreement on divorce issues, the mediator is responsible for drafting the terms and obtains signatures of each party.
Can my case be mediated?
In most cases, yes. But, if you are in a relationship involving abuse, or if you and your spouse are hostile toward each other, then mediation may not be right for you. A Boca Raton divorce attorney can review your case and determine if the mediation process will be beneficial (or feasible).
Do I need a lawyer for mediation?
You do not have to hire a lawyer during mediation, but a divorce attorney in Boca Raton is helpful in mediation cases. A lawyer can help you assess your needs so that you are knowledgeable of your rights during the mediation process. Legal guidance is also necessary when filing documents with the court properly after a decision has been reached. In some cases, a lawyer may help you locate a mediator or may serve as the mediator in your case.
How long does mediation take?
Mediation requires a series of ongoing meetings until agreements on all divorce issues are reached. This may last from several weeks to several months. But, it is typically always shorter than traditional divorce.
What is the mediation process?
The mediation process is categorized by a series of meetings in which spouses discuss issues regarding property division, child custody and alimony under the supervision of a neutral party. The divorcing spouses govern the process and are in control of the outcome. Once the terms and conditions of the divorce are settled, each spouse reviews and signs the document. It is then enforced by the court after careful submission.
Is mediation fair?
We recommend that spouses looking to use the mediation divorce seek legal counsel. It is important to understand your rights and know what you may be entitled to. This way, you are more likely to gain a favorable outcome. In some cases, a spouse that is more educated or owns more assets may take advantage of the other spouse. This is not always the case, but because spouses work out issues with each other without the interference of others, it can happen. So, the mediation process is certainly fair. But from a subjective standpoint, divorce spouses may feel as if the settlement reached was unfair in the long term.
How can I find a good, reliable mediator?
Contact a divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Theodore Enfield, P.A. We will show you where to look. In some cases, courts may appoint or make recommendations on reliable and skilled mediators. It is important to note that all mediators are professionally trained. So, it is unlikely to encounter a bador unreliable mediator.
Is mediation different from arbitration?
Yes. A mediator only supervises and facilitates discussion between spouses. He/she is neutral. Meanwhile, an arbitrator hears the arguments of both parties and renders a decision. An arbitrator acts as a judge.
How are mediators selected or appointed?
Mediators can be appointed by judges and mediation centers; or recommended by attorneys, child specialists or other professionals based on the unique needs of the divorcing couple. The specialties of the mediators are also considered. For example, a mediator that has experience with divorce and young children is likely to handle a mediation divorce with issues concerning children.
Can a mediation conference be postponed after it has been scheduled?
Yes. Parties may delay or postpone mediation proceedings, if necessary.
Do you have any remaining concerns about mediation and divorce? If so, contact Boca Raton divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore Enfield, P.A. for a free initial consultation.