Florida is a no-fault divorce state. It is also one of the few states that requires you to at least try mediation before appearing before a judge. For couples who can communicate amicably, mediation is an increasingly common means to a divorce in Clearwater. However, because it is not the traditional way to divorce, it is not completely understood. Here are some answers to common questions about divorce through mediation.
1. What Are the Benefits of Divorce Through Mediation?
Perhaps the biggest benefit to most is that the process of mediation for most couples costs less and goes faster than a traditional divorce. For some, the benefit of privacy stands out as the reason to try mediation. Nothing that is said in the private sessions with you, your spouse, and mediator goes on public record.
2. Will There Be Something in Writing Other Than the Divorce Decree?
Yes, just like a divorce where the parties go to court and the judge divides liabilities and assets as well as child custody, everything you and your spouse work out in mediation is written in a legally binding decree. It is filed with the state and fully enforceable.
3. Are There Exceptions for Having to Use Mediation?
If you have been abused, threatened, or fear for your safety or that of your children, you can skip mediation and seek a divorce through your attorney and the court system.
4. Do I Still Need an Attorney?
Some mediators are attorneys. Some work in an attorney’s office. Once you come to terms, you can choose to have your settlement drawn up or reviewed by your own attorney.
5. What If We Are Not Able to Agree on Everything?
That does not mean mediation is not an option. If you agree on many things but still can not agree on one or two items, you can take the elements you have yet to agree upon in front of a judge and allow the court to set the final terms of your divorce.
6. Can We Still Utilize Outside Help for Our Divorce?
Your mediator is there to facilitate communication and help both parties see a means to mutually agreeing on the terms of the divorce. However, that does not mean you cannot use information supplied by an accountant or consult them on what you are proposing. Many individuals consult a financial planner or appraiser during the mediation process to ensure that the settlement they are considering is fair and in their best interests.
Still Have Questions?
Call Wagstaff & Pitelis and learn how we can help with your divorce through mediation. We have state qualified mediators on staff. We also have attorneys ready to draw up your divorce agreement or review the terms being proposed. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form.