Orlando Divorce Mediation Attorney
Key issues to be decided in any Florida divorce include the division of marital property and the payment of alimony. If dependent children are in the picture as well, then issues of custody and timesharing and the payment of child support must be decided as well. These matters can be very difficult to resolve when they are contested, but courtroom hearings and trials are not always necessary. Mediation offers a way to resolve outstanding issues in a divorce outside of court in a way that provides the parties with meaningful input in the resolution of their divorce. The DeVoe Law Firm represents parties in divorce mediation and family law mediation in Orange County. Orlando family law attorney Michael P. DeVoe is committed to finding creative solutions to complex family law matters and helping his clients resolve their divorce efficiently and effectively, with their rights and interests protected now and into the future.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
Mediation may be ordered by the court, or it may be entered into voluntarily by the parties. In mediation, communication between the divorcing spouses is facilitated by a trained mediator who acts as a neutral third-party to foster communication between the spouses and help them reach agreement on the contested issues in their divorce. The mediator does not make decisions or rulings or force the parties to accept any particular outcome.
Sometimes, divorcing spouses are not communicating at all with each other, or any communications are counter-productive. The mediator may work with each spouse separately and shuttle communications between them, or the mediator may have all parties together in one room and encourage them to talk directly with one another as much as is productive.
If the parties can reach agreement on the outstanding matters, the mediator will draw up an agreement for the parties to sign. A signed agreement reached in mediation can be presented to the court and reviewed by the judge, who will incorporate the agreement into the divorce judgment and issue court orders accordingly.
Parties may be represented by their attorneys during mediation. Sometimes, the attorneys are in the room with the spouses and the mediator, and the attorneys may do the talking for the spouses or act in a more supportive role. Other times, the attorneys may be outside the mediation but available for advice. There is no one way to conduct a mediation, and the process can be adapted to whatever works best in the given situation. Any mediated settlement agreement should be reviewed by your attorney before signing to make sure it meets your needs and goals and does not give up any important rights that you would want to keep.
Should I Consider Collaborative Law for my Divorce?
You may have heard of collaborative family law or collaborative divorce as a way to resolve the issues in your divorce outside of court. Collaborative law has some features in common with mediation, but there are important differences. In a collaborative divorce, both spouses and their attorneys sign a contract before getting started that if the process fails to end in agreement, each attorney will withdraw from representing their client. If that happens, the parties have to basically start the divorce process over with new attorneys, adding time, expense and frustration to the process without contributing anything positive toward a resolution. This arrangement puts tremendous pressure on the parties to reach an agreement, and parties may feel pressured into giving up important rights just for the sake of getting an agreement.
At the DeVoe Law Firm, we believe the traditional divorce mediation process offers all the opportunity needed to reach a mutually beneficial agreement without having to go to court and without having to give up terms that are important to you. If mediation fails to produce an agreement, the parties proceed to court with a better understanding of the outstanding issues between them and one step closer to resolving their divorce amicably and efficiently.
Is Divorce Mediation Right for You? Call the DeVoe Law Firm in Orlando to Learn More.
To discuss whether mediation may be a positive step in the resolution of your divorce, child custody dispute or other family law matter, call the DeVoe Law Firm at 407-284-1620 for a free consultation with a skilled and experienced Orlando divorce lawyer.