The differences between the private mediation process and litigated divorce are many. The good news is that you have options. If there is domestic violence or child abuse your case likely belongs in the hands of a capable Family Law Attorney. Having an attorney may also assist you if you are having a difficult time negotiating with a controlling spouse.
Otherwise it may be worth considering private mediation. It is a private and privileged process where a mediator serves as a neutral party to assist you in reaching an agreement. Many people are unaware that in Florida, mediation is a requirement prior to taking a divorce to a judge.
You probably have a lot of questions running through your mind. “What is he thinking?” Or, “What is she thinking?” Do you think your spouse feels the same as you do? It is an awkward time, but it is better to begin having conversations about how to resolve your differences, before the conflict gets out of hand. Likely you have stopped openly communicating with one another which does make it tricky. The mediator’s job is to be resourceful in helping you share your concerns and ideas in a way that does not cause either one of you to have a knee jerk reaction.
When you want to have more control over the outcome rather than letting a judge decide issues for you, consider mediation, where you will have the opportunity to discuss your interests. Everything from financial issues such as division of assets and alimony to parenting issues such as decisions about the children and time sharing will be worked out in mediation. No one is forced to decide during mediation, yet the mediator is there to help you look at your situation from a different perspective and might suggest a solution that you or your spouse had not even thought to be possible.
Mediation is generally a faster and less expensive alternative to litigation. Mediating in good faith is a choice and it is an opportunity to create a win-win situation for both you and your family. It is important to keep your children in the forefront of your decisions and litigated divorces can cause angst rather than help you to be rational and resolve your differences. The opportunity exists also to create a new and different relationship with your spouse. You might not be married in the future, but you will always be mom and dad to your children and that is very important for them, even if they are grown up! If there was one thing I could help couples focus on, it would be that how they handle the divorce process will forever affect their family. Your children are watching you and are learning how you are handling this. Character is built in the tough times, not the easy times.
The opportunity to share your thoughts, feelings and concerns with your spouse can be important in the healing process and the mediator will assist you with that.
If you are wondering how marital mediation could help mend or stabilize your marriage or how divorce mediation might help you transition out of your marriage through the divorce process into a better long-term parenting relationship, give us a call.
Family & Divorce Mediation | Elder Care Mediation Marriage Mediation | Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements Many situations can be resolved without the pain and expense of litigation.
Schedule a Free Phone Consultation to see if Mediation is the right path for you.
941-366-0202 • ZollingerMediation.com
Freya Robbins, CDFA™ Supreme Court Certified Mediator