Certified Florida Mediator Discusses the Importance of Family Mediation
If there are any contested issues in your divorce, mediation will be ordered by the court. Why is mediation a court-ordered step in resolving contested issues in a divorce in Florida? The reason is that mediation can often resolve contested matters without the need for courtroom litigation, which frees up the courthouse to hear other matters in its crowded schedule. Mediation is more than just a time-saver for the courts, however; it can provide very real and lasting benefits to the parties in dispute. Read on to learn more about what mediation is and why you may choose to mediate your family law matter, whether it is court-ordered or not.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution which avoids the adversarial confrontation of courtroom litigation. In a mediation, the parties work together collaboratively to resolve their dispute in a manner which is beneficial to both parties. The process is facilitated by a mediator, who is a neutral third party trained in effective communication and conflict resolution.
Depending upon the situation, the mediator may bring the parties together and encourage them to talk with one another, or the mediator may serve as the intermediary between the parties and talk with each party separately. The mediator does not make decisions or impose rulings on the parties, but the mediator may advise them on how a judge might rule in their case and encourage them to understand the strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the matter.
In contrast to litigation, where each party stakes out a position and tries to convince the judge or jury to rule in their favor, the mediator encourages the parties to focus on their interests and create a solution together that meets the needs of both sides. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator can draw up the agreement, and the parties can submit it to the court for approval.
Besides the fact that mediation may be a court-ordered step in your family law case, there are many reasons why you may want to voluntarily choose mediation, even when it is not required. With mediation, you can finalize your divorce much faster than if you have to go to court, and it is generally less expensive as well. Saving time and money is important, but there are other equally valuable benefits to mediation. Since the parties work to create a solution together, they are more likely to find an answer that truly meets their needs. And since both parties worked to solve the problem, they are invested in its success. A mediated agreement is therefore more likely to be voluntarily implemented than a court order imposed upon the parties, and there is often less need to return to court to seek enforcement of court orders.
Courtroom litigation is adversarial, often resulting in one winner and one loser. Going through litigation can be stressful and emotional; bitter feelings can arise during a trial that poison the relationship between the parties. When children are involved, it is important divorcing spouses are able to get along and handle custody and visitation arrangements and participate jointly in events in the life of their child. Parties who achieve a mediated resolution often do so without those bitter feelings and are able to move forward with respect for another rather than hostility.
Why Choose Thomas Rhodes?
Thomas E. Rhodes, Esq., is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Certified Family Mediator and Certified County Court Mediator. For several years, Mr. Rhodes was a Staff Family Law Mediator for the 9th Judicial Circuit, where he helped hundreds of families in Orange and Osceola counties resolve their family law disputes. Whether serving as the mediator or representing a party in a family law mediation, Thomas Rhodes is an invaluable asset toward resolving conflict without acrimony and in a way that serves his clients best. Call (407) 578-1748, or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced Florida-certified family law mediator.