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Debunking Myths Concerning Mediation in a Florida Divorce


Many Florida residents have some interesting opinions when it comes to mediating a divorce. Suffice it to say, these opinions do not reflect the reality of the situation. In Florida, couples are required by law to attempt mediation. If mediation doesn’t work out, then the case may proceed to litigation which is the type of high-conflict affair you see dramatized on television.

Mediation is a type of dispute resolution in which both parties meet with a mediator who is an unbiased and uninterested third party. The role of the mediator is to help the parties resolve all disputes related to their divorce. If an agreement can be reached, the mediator will submit the agreement for the court’s approval. The Tampa, FL family law mediators at Westchase Law, P.A. will discuss some of the vital aspects of mediation and common misconceptions concerning the process.

Myth: The mediator will make all the decisions 

Mediators do not make any decisions. A mediator cannot force either party to do anything they don’t want to do. Instead, the mediator’s role is to help both parties reach an agreement. This is accomplished by explaining the law to both parties, finding a healthy compromise, and facilitating the negotiations. When you cannot reach an agreement in mediation, the case will proceed to litigation, and a family court judge will make all of the decisions regarding your case. Westchase Law, P.A. can help you and your spouse mediate a divorce settlement agreement that keeps the decisions squarely in your hands.

Myth: Mediation is guaranteed to work

 Mediation depends on the capacity of both parties to reach an agreement. If no agreement can be reached in mediation, then the case will proceed to litigation where a judge makes all of the decisions. Mediation may not be able to resolve all issues related to a divorce agreement. In cases where one party has no interest in reaching an agreement, mediation will likely fail.

Myth: Mediation won’t work for couples who cannot remain civil 

It may be true that high-conflict divorces are more difficult to mediate, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. In litigation, a judge will make all of the decisions for you and many couples would prefer to avoid that. Even in relatively hostile divorces, mediation can and does work. Mediators are trained in dispute-resolution techniques and routinely deal with couples in conflict. Even if you and your spouse are not on speaking terms, a mediator can help act as a go-between.

Myth: Mediation does not work in complex divorce cases 

This is untrue. Mediation can and does work for complex divorces. In many cases, high-asset divorcees will favor mediation over litigation for several reasons. These include the power to keep the decisions in their hands and privacy issues related to their finances. A mediator can help with complex divorce cases.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Divorce Mediator Today 

Westchase Law, P.A. represents the interests of divorcing couples in mediation. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin addressing your needs right away.

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