Is Mediation an Option for You?


Sometimes counseling is not enough to preserve marriage.  Irreconcilable differences can stem from dozens of sources, but whatever the cause, a marriage that cannot be maintained should end in a legal and equitable resolution.  Filing for divorce can be fraught with issues, though;  how will timesharing with the kids be accomplished?  Who gets the assets?  Who pays the debts?  Will there be alimony, and if so, how much? Who is footing the bill for the attorney’s fees?  These are all excellent questions that should be answered in a low cost initial consultation with an experienced Florida family law attorney like Frank P. Remsen.

The difficulty in divorce is not deciding how to split shared assets, but rather getting your spouse to agree to your decision.  If two divorcees cannot come to such an agreement, a circuit court judge may decide on an equitable way to divide shared assets.  Before a judge gets involved, however, Florida procedure has a means to give divorcees a chance to compromise: mediation.  A family law mediation involves both divorcees, each with their own attorney, and a neutral party, the mediator.  The mediator facilitates negotiation between the two divorcees. 

A mediation does not always result in an asset division to which both parties agree.  Sometimes neither side will agree to a compromise, and the mediation reaches an “impasse,” meaning no settlement occurred.  But other times, the presence of a neutral mediator to discuss issues separately with both the former spouses allows for real conversation, allowing the parties to find a resolution, such as an amount of alimony.  An experienced family law counsel, like Frank P. Remsen, will ensure that the agreement is fair for the client and “look around the corner” to answer questions.  For example, the mediation might have decided the alimony amount, but does the alimony end after a fixed amount of time?  What happens if the receiving spouse gets re-married?

Much more than alimony may be resolved through mediation.  Equitable distribution – who gets what – is often resolved out of court.  Divorcees must be careful to what they agree to through mediation, though, because once the judge signs off on the agreement, it becomes very difficult to change retroactively.  Such finality demonstrates the need to have an experienced family law attorney, such as Frank P. Remsen, at your side during a mediation.

Mediation is also key to resolving time-sharing issues, such as how to split weeks, weekends, vacation time, school time, homework time, extracurricular time, holiday time, etc.  A judge will have the ultimate say, but mediation gives you an opportunity to assert which times are most important to you.

Your attorney will advise you throughout the process, strategizing with you on how to reach the most favorable outcome. Mediation is a confidential proceeding, so if it does not lead to an agreement, it will not impede your right to a day in court.  Because of that, and the presence of a neutral mediator to assist you and your trial counsel, mediation is an effective tool for reducing or even eliminating disagreements between divorcees before trial.  If you plan to undergo a divorce, it is essential that you contact an experienced family law attorney, like Frank P. Remsen, for a low cost initial consultation.